Miss Lulu Bett Essay

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One play that offers a serious critique of women's familial entrapment is Zona Gale's Miss Lulu Bett (first performed in 1920). Miss Lulu Bett depicts an unmarried woman's domestic enslavement to her unappreciative and demanding family. However, it also scrutinizes the plight of the other women in the household—those with ostensibly more "enviable" positions—and ends with the suggestion that autonomy and self-support may offer the only escape from enforced domestic roles.

Gale's three-act play focuses on the title character, who performs all the household work for her sister Ina's family, her labor the price paid so that she and her mother can exist as dependents of Ina's husband Dwight. The family mythology has defined Lulu as not "strong enough to work," thereby emphasizing both Lulu's dependency and the belief that performing all the household duties for four adults and two children does not constitute "work...

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This section contains 1,550 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Miss Lulu Bett Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Miss Lulu Bett from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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