Criticism of the political system on a microcosmic level: Global politics in an industrial town in John Arden's The Workhouse Donkey

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2017 Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Dergisi  
John Arden's The Workhouse Donkey depicts the local politics of a northern English town in order to criticise the corruptions within the local government in a mocking way. Derived from a real-life story, the play specically focuses on the political life that can be experienced in an industrial town in the United Kingdom. According to Arden, the setting and the characters are important for the theme of the play. Nevertheless, what is portrayed in the play transcends the regional problems of a
more » ... rthern town. On the other hand, what is treated in the play on a microcosmic level is, in fact, a reection of politics on a macrocosmic, global level since it is the system that is being criticised in the play regardless of its local representation. Hence, the play has a political tone that criticises the political system rather than targeting a political party or a political view. Thus, this study aims to offer a detailed analysis of John Arden's play The Workhouse Donkey in order to justify the signicance of the play as a criticism of contemporary political system caricaturised as in the scope of local politics in a northern town in line with the muchdebated denitions of politics proposed by Bernard Crick. John Arden'in The Workhouse Donkey isimli oyunu, kuzey İngiltere'deki bir kasabada kurgulanan yerel politikaları ve yerel yönetimdeki yozlaşmaları alaycı bir şekilde eleştirme amacıyla betimler. Gerçek bir olaydan yola çıkarak kurgulanan oyun özellikle politik hayatın Birleşik Krallık'ta endüstriyel bir kasabada nasıl yaşandığına odaklanır. Arden'e göre oyunun geçtiği yer ve karakterler, oyunun teması açısından önemlidir. Buna rağmen oyunda sergilenenler, kuzeydeki bir kasabanın bölgesel sorunlarını aşar. Oyunda mikrokozmik seviyede işlenen sorunlar, aslında evrensel düzeyde politik hayatın bir yansımasıdır, sistemin yerel düzeydeki temsilinden öte, oyun, sistemin kendisini eleştirir. Belirli bir politik partiyi ya da politik görüşü hedef almaktansa, politik sistemi eleştiren oyunun, bu nedenle de politik bir tavrı vardır. Bundan dolayı bu çalışmanın amacı, The Workhouse Donkey isimli oyunu detaylı bir şekilde incelemek ve kuzeydeki bir kasabanın yerel politikası kapsamında günümüz politik sistemini karikatürize eden bu oyunu, Bernard Crick tarafından öne sürülen politika ve çokça tartışılan tanımlar bağlamında değerlendirmektir. Dened as a melo-drama by John Arden himself (112), The Workhouse Donkey is about the local politics of a northern English town and stages the corruptions within the local government in a mocking way. Derived from a real-life story, Arden stresses out that The Workhouse Donkey "is a regional play" (Gaston 160). Moreover, he adds that "[i]t belongs to a certain type of society, and outside that society it doesn't make a great deal of sense" (Gaston 160). Unlike Arden's opinion, the setting of the play as an industrial town and the individual characters in the play just represent wider issues. Hence, what is treated in the play in microcosmic level is, in fact, a reection of politics in a macrocosmic, global, level. In the play, it is the system that is being criticized regardless of its local representation. Rather than targeting a political party or a political view, Arden points out that it is always a gure of authority that is blamed for the system and overthrown. In this regard, the play illustrates the arguments put Makale Bilgisi
doi:10.1501/dtcfder_0000001532 fatcat:s5otrpxzbrgtraodp3z4po6wmm