Sharon E Cooper's Play Mistaken Identity Criteria essay

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Sharon E. Cooper's play "Mistaken Identity" criteria: Clear thesis statement, coverage elements

No Mere Mistake

Without a doubt, Sharon E. Cooper's dramatic work, which is entitled Mistaken Identity is unabashedly a comedy. This play is based upon a number of situations that are emblematic of modern day life, which the author primarily uses to poke fun at several social conventions that are prevalent in contemporary society. As the title of this play largely implies, the fundamental concept that fuels the majority of the plot is misunderstanding, which manifests itself in a couple of disparate forms that are intrinsically related to the two principle characters, Steve and Kali. Cooper utilizes the fact that each of these characters has a misconception about who the other is and what that person wants as a means of providing comedy and insight into notions of identity in contemporary society.

The principle misunderstanding that exists between Steve and Kali is that Kali is a "Hindu lesbian" (Boslaugh 2007) who is solely interested in romantic relationships with women. Steve, on the other hand, is the stereotypical American prototype who is looking to get married and begin a life that is traditional in the sense of engendering a family with a wife. Throughout the play, Cooper utilizes Steve to symbolize traditional American values. Kali, however, mistakenly believes that Steve has sought her society for the fact that he wants to be her friend. The following quotation demonstrates that the author utilizes this misconceptions of the two characters -- who have only met because Kali's brother Rashid, who is aware of each other's true identity and desires -- in a comical fashion to steer the plot. Steve believes that he can overcome Kali's lesbianism, or even utilize it to his advantage, in his attempts at marriage, to which Kali retorts "Being lesbian isn't negotiable. And don't even get started on how sexy it is to be with me or to watch me with another woman!"…[continue]

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