Social Historical Cultural Context Mindmap - Jessica - Coggle Diagram
Social Historical Cultural Context Mindmap - Jessica
When was the play written?
The original version was written in 1933.
This production chooses to set the play in the present day, because some of the characters use iPhones and MacBooks. However, other than that, the production doesn't add other present day elements. (80’s era pop culture)
Why did the playwright create the play?
The characters in This Is Our Youth are loosely based on his Walden friends and himself.
Another theme would be identity, in order to have a smooth transition to adulthood, characters must find their own sense of “identity”.
The themes explored in this play are still relevant in this day. The main one would be coming of age. All three main characters transition from teenagers to adulthood but are having difficulties. They have been living by their support from their parents, and the characters are not forced to think about the future. What they do all day is to fulfil desires such as drugs and sex. This is also why I chose this monologue. It seems “down to earth” and it looks like something that might happen in daily lives. It might make connections with the audience and resonate with them.
What was the impact on the audience?
It’s a revealing and offbeat dissection of the world.
It’s a rambunctious and witty play about wayward teen-agers and post-adolescents.
Has it been produced since the first performance?
The play opened Off-Broadway at the Intar Theatre on October 26, 1996 and closed on November 24, 1996 after 22 performances.
Warren (who Jessica is talking to)
Warren doesn’t care about things these days. He doesn’t care about people and his relationships with them. Deep attachments seem pointless seeing as his sleazy father was abusive and his family abandoned him.
The play’s main setting is in an apartment lived by two young adults in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It is March 1982.
It takes place during an era of big hair, colorful fashion, and memorable pop culture in one of the most influential cities in America.
Jessica hangs out with Valerie (her friend) and eventually ends up in the apartment alone with Warren.
Jessica and Warren are sitting in the living room together, facing one another. They barely know each other, they found each other through friends. They slept with each other the night before.
She feels embarrassed running into him. Warren casually mentions that he told Dennis about what happened. Jessica starts thinking, and thinking, about what this could mean for her. In her mind, it could end badly, so she starts getting furious with Warren.
Purpose and objective of the monologue
The monologue is about Jessica convincing Warren that he made a mistake in talking to his friend Dennis about sleeping with her. Warren needs to take back and cover up what he said and or make up for it.
Jessica is worried about her reputation. She’s an aspiring student with big dreams, navigating her way into adulthood. She is trying to find her friends and her place in the world. The news that Warren spread could ruin her new budding friendships and how other people might see her.
Cultural and historical aspects
This play is written in a time when consumerism first ushered in and that also brought along many voices of dissent. The government's political and economic agenda triggered a promotion of self-interest and shopping became Americans' favourite pastime during the 1980s. However, some people criticised the promotion of America's consumer appetites. For example, economists noted that the unemployment rate reached its highest point and that caused the raise in the number of Americans living in poverty, and problems such as drug abuse started appearing.
This play is about social abscess and moral atrophy; it’s also about the aimlessness, the vacuity, and the emotional deadness of the characters.