Eleemosynary Essay

Lee Blessing
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Perkins is a professor of American and English literature and film. In this essay, she examines the effects that limited roles for women can have on a family, as reflected in the play.

Echo Wesbrook, the main character in Blessing's play Eleemosynary, determines that all of her problems began in 1958. That is the year that her grandmother, Dorothea, forced her mother, Artie, to test her theory that humans can fly with “the proper classical training.” As the reminiscence plays out, Artie, with a pair of homemade wings strapped to her back, first tries running down a steep hill. When that fails to make her airborne, her mother instructs her to jump off a water tower. Dorothea insists that Artie will be safe, since she has piled up leaves at the base of the tower. After Artie scales the tower and looks over the edge, she refuses to jump...

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This section contains 1,393 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Eleemosynary Study Guide
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