Giving Mirrors to Female Prisoners in Alice Birch’s [BLANK]



The paper at hand attempts to interpret a contemporary British playwright’s theatrical artistic attempt to present a disturbing social issue and to suggest possible modes of help. In [BLANK], Alice Birch confronts the audience with the ugly cycle of women’s criminal conducts, female criminals’ offending and reoffending. The playwright employs the theater of the absurd as a theatrical medium through which she portrays the absurd reality of these female criminals and their families. To confront and shock the audience with the ugliness of these charterers’ reality, Birch uses In-Yer-Face theater. Birch suggests that the female criminal characters are victims who need proper psychological and medical rehabilitation services to break the ugly cycle of reoffending. The playwright implies a very challenging question for the audience: is it possible to break some patterns of some biological genetic behaviors? That is, can female criminals, in [BLANK], break away from their criminal behaviors that are biologically innate through the help of medicine and psychology not just through some practices of traditional stigmatizing forms of discipline and punishment in the justice system that are often proven to be unreliable means of constraint? By shocking and confronting society with the ugly reality of many female prisoners, in [BLANK], Birch is trying to give these pathetic female characters’ voices, mirrors, selves, forcing society to acknowledge them as human beings who have an essential role in society. 


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Author Biography

Madhawy Almeshaal, Assistant Prof. Of English Literature KSU

Madhawy Abdulaziz Almeshaal is an assistant professor at the English and Literature Department, College of Arts, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She teaches different courses in modern and contemporary English and American literature. She has received her BA degree form Marymount University, VA, USA, her MA degree from The American University, Washington D.C., and her Ph.D. degree from KSU, SA. Almeshaal’s area of research interest has been mainly related to Modern & Contemporary British and American drama and Theater Studies.



How to Cite

Almeshaal, M. (2021). Giving Mirrors to Female Prisoners in Alice Birch’s [BLANK] . International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 3(4), 167–181.