Oleanna, a two-hander play, is set in a college professor's office. The professor, John, is only partly interested in his students. He has tenure and a new house on his mind. The student, Carol is not that bright and can"t understand his course. John tries to help her. But Carol takes the expressions of help as sexual harassment and she reports him to the tenure committee. There is little foundation to Carols charge, and radical feminists have put her up to it, but John is insensitive to Carol's perspective. In the end his career and life are in shambles, and he is ready to get violent towards Carol. The play invariably causes loud arguments in the audience after the final curtain.
I bought your book, I read your .". This simple sentence shows Carol's naivety, It also hints that John is in charge and that Carol is also very childlike. We can see that John is in charge from Carol as she says "I"m doing what I"m told", this gives John ultimate power. At this point Carol is upset, so we see John trying to calm her down "You"re an incredibly you have no problem with the . Who's kidding who? Mamet has used a lot of non-fluency features such as ellipsis within this quote, this is used to emphasize fillers and make the audience fill in the gaps. It also makes the conversation awkward, as it doesn"t flow.
We can tell throughout Act 1 that John is trying to get Carol the course, this is only for his benefit as he knows he will have to go back to basics and change her. John does this once again by gaining control through jargon "either the criteria" he also shows his sensitive side " I"m a human being". Carols response to this shows she is getting desperate and is trying to impress John. " I did what you told me, I did" The repetition of "I did" and "your" shows her desperation, we se this as the repetition is of the personal pronoun in the declarative mood.
John then introduces the gender " Look I"m not your father".