The play “Oleanna” is by David Mamet, it was written about 1992, around the time of the Clarence Thomas investigation. Oleanna has two characters, a faculty member named John and a student named Carol, in several discussions in John’s office., Mamet puts profusion of talk: not humorous banter, or playful talk between lovers, or even the uncomfortable talk of refined society, but rather the laden language of two dissimilar worlds, presented by actors who tackle each other face to face all through the play, whether in the stammering half-speech that begins the play or the incisive, brutal crimes that puncture the simple set at the end. In Oleanna, Mamet uses language to set in opposition so many forces in ordinary opposition against one another. That each declaration intersects with something else and echoes with issues of power in its assorted shapes, concerning higher education, to intellectual autonomy, to aggression against women, to political correctness, to materialism, to selectiveness.
Mamet is at his finest when portraying the breakdown of human beings to converse, and Mamet’s characters are also arguing each focal point. By the third act, Carol and John take concern over the distinction between “if what” and “given what.”
Mamet has a distinctive way of constructing dialogue, which one either likes or loathes. This is possibly the weakest point of the play, along with the recurring use of John’s phone to institute space between the characters.
Mamet uses “breaks” and “omissions” as gear right through the piece as a structuralist author might cautiously craft parallels and a consistent symbolic code within a play. Mamet’s use of these post-structuralist tools demonstrates how patchy and uncertain realism is; however, he does so without making the text seem unreal. Actually, the dialogue in the play is very convincing, giving the disturbing impact of acknowledgment to his example that expressions, acts, and elucidation of action is not possible to understand in a supreme sense.
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