Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations: Two Plays Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations.
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Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations: Two Plays Summary & Study Guide Description

Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations: Two Plays Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations: Two Plays by David Mamet.

"Sexual Perversity in Chicago" and "The Duck Variations" are two plays written by iconic playwright David Mamet.

Sexual Perversity in Chicago takes place on the north side of Chicago. The duration of the play is nine weeks during one summer.

The play contains only six characters, four main characters and two that are only mentioned in passing. The four main characters are Bernard Litko, Danny Shapiro, Joan Webber and Deborah Soloman. The two men are friends and colleagues, the women are roommates.

Bernard Litko is a young man who obviously has much less experience than he claims. Litko perceives himself to be a ladies' man with an incredible amount of wisdom. Litko is always preaching to Shapiro about how to handle women. Litko also likes to brag about his sexual prowess.

Shapiro works in the same office with Litko. It is never actually stated where the men work or what they do, aside from filing various tax forms.

Shapiro is a regular guy, wanting sex but is somewhat unsure. Shapiro always listens to Litko but does not always take his friend's advice. Litko sees Shapiro as being naïve.

Deborah Soloman seems to be relatively steady person. On the whole, Deborah, an illustrator, is a relatively friendly woman with an openness that is not shared by Joan or Litko.

Joan Webber is a bitter and hostile woman. Joan puts herself out there and then shoots down everything that comes her way. Joan is critical of Deborah and downright hostile to everyone else, even Shapiro. It is unclear why Joan is so bitter. The reader is left to believe that Joan is buried deeply in emotional distress and uses ridicule and insult as a defense mechanism. This can be seen clearly in the midst of Joan's existential crisis.

There is little action in the play. The characters talk about sex, particularly the men. Litko always has some story or reference to some aspect of sexual perversity. There is not a lot of actual sex in the play. In fact there is almost none.

The plot can easily be boiled down to this: Deborah and Shapiro meet and fall into bed. The couple moves too fast and it ends badly. Joan is simply hostile to everyone all the time. Litko is against the relationship and is continually trying to get Shapiro to wise up.

The second play is titled "The Duck Variations." A short forward from David Mamet tells the reader that "The Duck Variations" is a simple play. The only scene is a park with a park bench.

George and Emil are long-time friends who spend their days together at the local park. Although the men are in their sixties, they act older. Each man takes a turn playing it straight to the other's comedy. Their lengthy friendship is obvious by the way they talk to one another. Both are fascinated by ducks and use every aspect of a duck's life to wax philosophic. No topic is taboo.

George is a bit more fanciful than Emil. George is the type to make himself believe something is true, no matter how absurd.

There are some times when the men truly disagree, but those potential arguments are quickly pushed aside in favor of a new topic that will surely be related to the ducks in some way.

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This section contains 554 words
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Buy the Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations: Two Plays Study Guide
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