Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 12 : 9 September 2012
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


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Isolation, Alienation and Search for Identity in Michel Tremblay’s Play Hosanna

Mrs. G. Sripriya Ramu, M.A. (English), M. Phil., M.A. (French)
RBT (Hindi), Ph.D. Research Scholar in English
A. K. Mohamed Amin, Ph.D.
S. Gunasekaran, Ph.D.

Transvestite Play - La Duchesse de Langeais

Tremblay has written two transvestite plays: La Duchesse de Langeais (1970) and Hosanna (1973). The former is a grotesque tragic-comedy, in the form of a dramatic monologue in two acts. Through the speeches of a single character La Duchesse, Tremblay is able to create for the audience a vivid and enormously pathetic personality and an entire life experience. The setting is the terrace of a café “down South”. It is siesta time. Duchesse de Langeais sits alone in the blazing sun, halfway through a bottle of whiskey. Thus, the sense of loneliness and isolation is created from the very beginning.

La Duchesse is about sixty years old. After a long and successful career as a transvestite prostitute, she is now suffering the ultimate indignity; she is rejected by a young partner with whom she has allowed herself to fall genuinely in love. As she analyses her present situation and reminisces about her past, the audience becomes aware of the central problem of decline and the pathos of an older person who suffers rejection by one who is younger and more attractive. The sense of isolation and alienation is reinforced by La Duchesse’s transvestism which pushed her into a position that is marginal beyond that of an ordinary old person. In Quebec this aspect of alienation and marginality carries specific overtones of cultural colonialism, as does the role playing which La Duchesse has developed to perfection.

Transvestite Play – Hosanna

Hosanna, first produced in 1973 and translated with the same title by Van Burek and Glassco in the following year, can be said to be “the most ambitious and political of Tremblay’s transvestite plays” (Usmiam, 571). Usmiani .farther observes that the identity crisis, undergone and eventually overcome by Hosanna reflected the identity crisis of the Quebec people. “We have been transvestites for 300 years, that's no joke” (qtd. In Cloutier 64), says Tremblay.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Mrs. G. Sripriya Ramu, M.A. (English), M. Phil.,
M.A. (French), RBT (Hindi)
Ph.D. Research Scholar in English
Jamal Mohamed College
Thiruchirapalli - 620 020
Tamil Nadu

A. K. Mohamed Amin, Ph.D.
Head of department, Reader in English
Jamal Mohamed College
Thiruchirapalli - 620 020
Tamil Nadu

S. Gunasekaran, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in English
Anna University
Dindigul Campus
Dindigul - 624 622
Tamil Nadu

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