Analysis Of The Heidi Chronicles By Wendy Wasserstein

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“It is time to effect a revolution in female manners - time to restore to them their lost dignity - and make them, as a part of the human species, labour by reforming themselves to reform the world. It is time to separate unchangeable morals from local manners” (Goodreads.com). Morals and reforms from the Women’s Movement shaped the late 20th century, creating the path for feminist desires. Wendy Wasserstein’s autobiographical play sets the scene through the thirty years of lost hope and aspiration of equality. As relationships, friendships, and careers get in the way, Heidi finds herself lost and yearning for a better future. In The Heidi Chronicles, Wendy Wasserstein portrays the struggle of feminism through the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s as Heidi’s friends pass through the movement as a trend, leaving Heidi feeling stranded, and showing how women differ in success to fulfill their lives than men.
Parallel to Heidi’s life in the play, Wasserstein reflects upon her feministic views and emotions during this time, resulting in loneliness. Wasserstein’s play is praised for its attraction to both men and women audiences as it affirms women’s experiences, rather than degrading them. Growing up, Wasserstein enjoyed attending plays but always questioned where the women actresses were, inspiring her to produce her own female centered pieces. Reflected on relationships through subtle humor, Wasserstein tackles the dynamics between a mother and daughter, women and men, and women and women. She writes the play centered on her own societal displacement as the women around her are modernizing and caring more for the traditional mother roles and careers. Nina Burleigh comments that Wasserstein writes The Heidi Chronicles “out of a personal sa...

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...change through her daughter.
The women’s movement during the late 20th century fights to last past the temporary-minded people, while Heidi continues to hope for future equality. Similar to Wendy Wasserstein’s life, Heidi fights against the common traps falling back into a male dominated society that most women resort to during this time. While Heidi’s friends leave behind the movement as if it is just another chapter in their lives, Heidi holds on to the idea of a successful feministic society. Falling short to meet her high expectations, she finally accepts the failure of the movement, and hopes for success in the future with the next generation, especially with her daughter. Although Heidi might not have succeeded in feminism, today society is equal to women and men, and many feminists advocate a fulfilled life for all women with different goals than those of men.
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