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Sisters-in-Law


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AT: The Guid Sisters A: Michel Tremblay Pf: 1968, Montreal Pb: 1968 Tr: 1974 G: Com. in 2 acts; Canadian French prose S: Kitchen in a working-class area of Montreal, 1965 C: 15fGermaine Lauzon has won a million free gift stamps in a competition and can now realize her dream of entirely refurnishing her home. However, there are three large crates of stamps and a crate of booklets, and it will be an immense task to stick them all in. So she holds a party, at which all her female guests (sisters-in-law and neighbours) can help with this Herculean labour. During the gathering, the lives of the different women are revealed, their unhappiness, their aspirations, and their fear of stepping beyond the narrow limits of their existence. There is the snob, the young innocent, the do-gooder, etc. Finally, as tensions mount, the helping women begin stealing Germaine's precious stamps. Fights break out, stamps fly in every direction, women rush from the room clutching their horde of stamps. Germaine collapses in despair, but, as she hears ‘O Canada’ being sung offstage, she gets up and stands to attention, as more stamps drift down from above.

AT: The Guid Sisters A: Michel Tremblay Pf: 1968, Montreal Pb: 1968 Tr: 1974 G: Com. in 2 acts; Canadian French prose S: Kitchen in a working-class area of Montreal, 1965 C: 15f

Turning his back on the predominantly realistic mode of Canadian theatre, Tremblay, influenced by the absurdist theatre of Metropolitan France, wrote this delightfully satirical analysis of French Canadian society, its pretensions and its timidity. While poking gentle fun at the carefully delineated 15 women, Tremblay offers an affectionate portrayal of their lives. By writing his play in joual (French Canadian dialect), Tremblay helped to make it a legitimate literary tool.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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