"How I Learned to Drive": A critical look at theacceptance of sexual abuse myths in the play and in its reception
AuthorBowers, Kimberly P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis examines Paula Vogel's 1998 Pulitzer Prize winning play How I Learned to Drive. While Vogel intended her play about sexual abuse to be a critique of society's sexualization of children, the reviews of the play suggest a different interpretation. The play has been praised for its depiction of sexual abuse as a love story and its lack of social critique. By looking at the play in the context of sexual abuse myths, one can see how this kind of critique has occurred. How I Learned to Drive is written so ambiguously that it is difficult to tell whether Vogel is critiquing sexual abuse myths or endorsing them. When presented in a society in which confusion abounds regarding sexual abuse, Vogel's ambiguity lends itself to the danger of upholding myths about sexual abuse.
Degree ProgramGraduate College