Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is a lasting play as it can be transposed to be as relevant today as when it was written. The play is about change and the inability for some to deal with it, the battle between dream and reality, and loyalty and mateship. Lawler uses the actions of the characters to effectively portray his feelings to the audience.
Like many working-class people from this time the characters in the play are fairly uneducated and because of this, they do not have an understanding of the growing old process, they cling onto what they know best, which is youth and this brings about their downfall. Olive is the classic dreamer. She is thirty-nine but still continues to live as though she's a teenager. She has extremely strong ideals, which she refuses to let go of. She wants excitement; she wants "five months of heaven every year." She doesn't want the monotony and responsibility of married life. Roo and Barney, who once were fit young men, come down from the lay-off this year, dragging their ever-increasing age with them. Roo is not as fit and healthy as he used to be - he has a bad back -his pride also holds him back from realizing that he is getting older and that life is changing for him. Thi...
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...e two texts, the use of Aussie slang by the characters throughout the play labels it as being distinctly Australian. Costumes are conservative, middle-class or farmer, suits and dresses. More dull, basic colors such as browns, blacks and grays are largely shown through the play, which draws more closed attention from the audience and present more real life at that time.
Bailey, B., (1998). On Our Selection. Sydney: University of Sydney.
Lamond, J., (2007). ‘The Ghost of Dad Rudd, on the Stump’. JASAL 6.1: 19-32
Lawler, R., (1996). Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Sydney: Currency Press.
Purcell. C.& Sawyer, W., (1996). The Man From Muckinupin & The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Rozelle: St Clair Press Pty Ltd.
Reid, D.,(1997). Brodie’s Notes on Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Sydney & London: Pan Books.
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