How I Learned to Drive

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0Julie Carvalho Professor Harrigan Theater and Social Justice 9/22/14 How I learned to thank my abuser? How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel is a story told in reverse, of a girl who was molested at a young age by her uncle, and how overtime her understanding of her own situation changed. By the end of the story Lil Bit, the narrator, is almost at the point of pitying her uncle, whereas most people would probably despise him. There are obvious connections, such as how both Doubt and How I Learned To Drive both focus on child molestation, and how they both contain a mother who doesn’t act to protect her child, but I feel the strongest connection is actually between this play and Sonny’s Blues. The sense of freedom that music gave to Sonny and how it gave him a sort of power over his drug addiction reminded me of the sense of freedom and control that Lil Bit felt while driving. While both these characters were suffering for different reasons they both felt the same need for power from these two aspects of their lives. While both Doubt and How I Learned To Drive focus on the topic of child molestation, the topic is presented in two very different lights. In Doubt, it is clearly wrong and being fought against by Sister A. in How I learned To Drive however, its put forth in more of a foggy setting. When Lil Bit first began being taken advantage of she didn’t know what was happening and that it wasn’t ok. She didn’t have someone like Sister A. there to tell her that she needed to be protected. Similar to the way that Father Flynn is presented as a overall good guy, Vogel attempted to create Uncle Peck as a very flawed human being, using pathos in order to try to make the reader connect with him. However its not that simple to make the audience connect with a pedophile. Lil Bit has a monologue where she pities her uncle and wonders what happened to him to make
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