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How I Learned to Drive Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing at Oakton Community College. In the following essay, he examines the ways Vogel makes the character of Uncle Peck, the child molester, bearable by making him understandable.

The focal characters of Paula Vogel's 1997 play How I Learned to Drive are Uncle Peck, a grown man who orchestrates a seven-year-long sexual assault against his niece, and Li'l Bit, the object of his fixation who encourages his lust. On their own, the facts of the case qualify the play as a drama, more specifically a tragedy. A good case can be made that such subject matter could never be anything but inherently and irrevocably tragic. But the play has comic elements, and all turns out well for Li'l Bit, its narrator and protagonist, who, fifteen or twenty years after the action, can look back on her relationship with her uncle, scrutinize it, and...

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This section contains 1,832 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the How I Learned to Drive Study Guide
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Drama for Students
How I Learned to Drive from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.