Learning To Drive Critique

1240 Words5 Pages
Have you ever read or saw a play that highlighted the touchy topics such as pedophilia or incest? My guess would be no, because I never have until reading Paula Vogels How I Learned to Drive. In spite of this serious situation, she also adds many comical elements to lighten the load of this heavy topic. How I Learned to Drive is a play that follows a strained, sexual relationship between a young girl named Lil’Bit and her Uncle Peck, who is an in-law and not blood related. Uncle Peck took advantage of her from adolescence through her teens and into college. Using the symbol of driving and the issues with pedophilia and incest, this play explores control and manipulation. Paula Vogel’s play How I Learned to Drive tackles the diverse topic of pedophilia and incest with a way that helps to better understand the good that can come out of an unhealthy relationship. How I Learned to Drive covers two diverse themes, growing up and the sexual orientation of the main character; the style of music to set the mood of the play; and the two main characters in this work that compliment each other in a way that may be hard to understand for some. We learn that this play is not just about a perverted old man molesting his niece but as Paul Vogel said, ”Without denying or forgetting the original pain, I wanted to write about the great gifts that can also be inside that box of abuse. My play dramatizes the gifts we receive from the people who hurt us." The story takes place rural Maryland in the 60’s with Lil’ Bit and her extended family. Her family consists of her mom, her grandparents, and her aunt Mary and Uncle Peck. Her family would easily be classified as dysfunctional. Her family means well, but they are not emotionally and intellectually equipped to deal with how bright Lil’Bit is and how sensitive she is as well. Not to mention the damaging sexual attentions paid by
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