The Pathology of Alienation: A Psycho-Sociological Approach to the Theater of Paloma Pedrero

by Taylor, Aaron

Abstract (Summary)
Paloma Pedrero's hyperrealist theater provides a glimpse into the daily existence of a group of Madrid's outcasts as well as an analysis of the pertinent social issues that affect them. In her plays, characters suffer from numerous conflicts linked to financial and emotional alienation. Longing for solidarity and companionship, an atmosphere of rivalry and mistrust thwarts their attempts to establish effective dialogue or productive cooperation. Though role-play can bring about momentary connections, bonds are soon severed as characters fail at (self)expression and resort to mutual victimization. Spectators exit the theater perplexed since characters seem no better off at the plays' open-ended conclusions. In recent years, Pedrero is proving to be one of the most important playwrights to emerge on the Spanish stage. The growing number of critical studies on her plays attest scholars' interest to unravel the complexities of her thought-provoking texts. Although most critics concentrate on the theatric, erotic or feminine aspects of her writing, I believe an analysis of the psycho-sociological dimensions of her theater is essential to a greater understanding of her works, especially in light of her educational background in sociology. Consequently, my dissertation approaches Pedrero's texts uniquely within this social framework. Although Pedrero avoids writing plays with overtly didactic messages, in La isla amarilla, she offers rare insight into the concerns that characterize her Weltanschauung: i.e. dismay at contemporary society's thirst for material wealth and its individualistic nature. Commencing with these ideas, my aim is to delve into Pedrero's world, revealing the influences, theories and experiences which have shaped her discourse. The three primary points of my research, constituting my chapters, include: 1) Success and failure in Western society, the marginalization process and deviancy – Merton's theory; 2) Relationship disorders and the breakdown of interpersonal communication – Gestalt therapy; 3) The structure, techniques and reception of her works – Aristotle and Brecht. Furthermore, I address symptomatic issues within the various chapters: dysfunctional families, abandonment, unemployment, substance abuse, rage, individualism and estrangement. A wide range of novel theories pertaining to sociology, psychology, communication and dramatic arts will be covered in my dissertation and applied to Pedrero's plays.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:paloma pedrero theater gestalt therapy robert merton sociology alienation marginalization pathology theatrics aristotle brecht antonio buero vallejo neorealism twentieth century spain realism deviancy deviance socialization deviant retr


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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