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Summer of the Seventeenth Doll offers a slice of life in a working class Melbourne household One of the reasons that the play was such a success was because Lawler the playwright was able to hold the interest of the audience throughout the play He managed to develop tension in each act by placing characters in situations of conflict where their contrasting styles of communication created tension The tension builds in each act of the play The conflicts and tensions between Lawlers characters keep the audiences attention This essay will discuss how the change in status quo the way the characters deal with their new situations the confusion before the climax of the play and the plays ending creates tension between the characters and the audience During the sixteen years previous to this summer Roo and Barney two cane-cutters from up north came down to see Olive Roos girlfriend and Nancy Barneys girlfriend every summer Olive lived with her mother Emma and looked forward to her five months of heaven when Roo and Barney came down every year However this year things are different Nancy has left Barney to marry a bookkeeper and Olive has taken on a boarder Pearl who is a widow As the men have grown older Roo has been all but replaced on the cane fields by Johnnie Dowd a younger man Johnnie later becomes the romantic interest of Bubba Olives twenty-two year old next-door neighbour The changes cause the status quo of the group to be disrupted the first cause of tension As the situation has changed this year the relationships are different from last and this causes tension between the characters One example of the tense relationships in the play is the relationship between Olive and Pearl Olive does not like Pearls lack of enthusiasm towards the summer and Pearl dislikes Olives relationship with Roo The disrespect between towards each others ideas causes tension and uneasiness Another
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