A critical analysis of the characters in Caryl Churchill's 'Cloud Nine' (1979), using a framework shaped by Judith Butler's theories of 'gender construction', 'performativity' and 'subversion'.
(2014) A critical analysis of the characters in Caryl Churchill's 'Cloud Nine' (1979), using a framework shaped by Judith Butler's theories of 'gender construction', 'performativity' and 'subversion'., no. 53.
This dissertation will critically analyse select characters from Caryl Churchill's play 'Cloud Nine' (Churchill 1979) using a framework shaped by feminist theorist Judith Butler, in an attempt to determine if this selected text can be interpreted using Butler's theories on gender. It is the aim of this study to look specifically at Butler's theories on gender construction, performativity and subversion and apply them to the characters of Cloud Nine. In doing so this study aims to analyse the extent to which Churchill utilises her characters in order to challenge hegemonic gender ideals in society. This investigation will be carried out through means of qualitative research. This investigation will assume itself with analysing literature available and interpreting this material in order to create a framework, shaped by Butler's work within the field of feminism. A framework of Butler's key theories on gender will be created through combining and then condensing elements of Butler's overall research, focusing specifically on her work on gender as constructive and performative. Applying the framework set out to Churchill's text will conclude findings into how useful feminist theories can be in analysing what the characters of Cloud Nine represent within the play in terms of gender relations. On a wider scope, it will also examine what Churchill was trying to communicate to her audience through her critique of society's enforced gender ideals.