Oleana Essay, Research Paper
The ending of Oleanna could have been prevented. I t didn t have to end with John loosing control. The story is based on miscommunication. Carol could have told John from the beginning that she felt uncomfortable instead of going behind his back and press charges. John is wrong too for abusing the power he had over Carol. John didn t loose it though until he found out Carol might be charging him with rape. We all know that he didn t try raping her so if the government redefined rape, Johns out burst would have never happened. All of the above could have prevented the ending of Oleanna.
Carol went to John s office to tell him that she couldn t afford to fail and that she has tried everything to try to understand but she still can t. John understands her problem and offers to give her an A for the term if she stops by his office more often and talk about what she doesn t understand. Carol asks why would you do this for me and he replies because I like you . Carol doesn t understand why he likes her and John tells her that he believes that perhaps we re similar . Carol makes no suggestion of her feeling sexually harassed and that is when the problem begins.
Carol sat there and listened to what John had to say. Most people when they feel uncomfortable they leave. Carol even made notes of words that made her feel sexually harassed such as He told me he had problems with his wife; and that he wanted to take off the artificial stricture of Teacher and Student. He put his arms around me . Carol did this out of anger. John only mentioned problems with his wife after Carol asked him and he put his arm on her shoulder. It was nonsexual. She pressed charges because she was angry with John for abusing his power as a teacher and not the fact that she felt sexually harassed. She even says, What I feel is irrelevant . Carol wants to reverse the situation by giving herself power over John. She wants John to feel how she felt when she first came to see him.
Carol should have told John that she didn t like the way he was using his power over her. John might have not seen himself doing this. He saw himself as helping her. You would think any student would be grateful if their professor would change their grade from failing to an A. John also tried boosting her ego by telling her that she is not stupid. That she feels that she is stupid because her mind tells her that. He understands that she needs help and offers to go over the work with her so she can understand. He feels that it s not her fault she doesn t understand but his because he didn t do his job.
When Carol went to visit John, John abused his power as a teacher. He was even going to break the rules for Carol by giving her A when she didn t deserve one. He also under minded her by using his large vocabulary that he knew that she wouldn t understand. He made Carol feel dumb. John would talk of schooling as hazing and this somewhat angered Carol because she worked hard to get into the University. John would also cut Carol off whenever he felt like it. He didn t want Carol to tell anyone that they would be meeting together, alone. We wont tell anybody .
This angered Carol and caused her to want revenge. Carol tells John You. Do. Not. Have. The. Power. Did you misuse it? Someone did . She did this not only for herself but for others that would have to be forced into dealing with him abusing his power. If John never abused his power as a teacher and tried to understand where Carol was coming from, he would never be in this predicament.
John lost control in the end. He fond out Carol might be charging him with attempted rape. They both knew that he didn t but according to the law he did. When Carol tried to leave his office, John pressed his body into hers. John didn t find out until he talked to Jerry on the phone. John asks Carol, What does this mean? Carol ignores this question and replies, I thought you knew . John is frustrated because he is going to loose tenure over a lie. He is also going to loose the house he planned on buying so he took all his frustration out on Carol. If the law redefined rape then John wouldn t have had that outburst.
Before Carol left John s office, Carol told John Don t call your wife baby . This outraged John. Carol had no right to interfere with his conversation with his wife. John has every right to call his wife baby. John loves his wife. Carol took everything away from John. His job, his house, his power and now she s telling him what he can say. This disturbs John so much that the only power he has over Carol is physical force. He starts to beat Carol and after he lets out all of his aggression he knows that there is no way out of the situation he created. After all the attempts to have Carol change her mind about the charges, he looses control and attacks her. Carol has just proved herself right for John s mistakes.
The ending of Oleanna could have been prevented. The main problem with the story is they misunderstood each other. John wouldn t have lost it at the end if the accusations were true. They both knew everything in the report was true but the words had different meanings. Carol blew up the situation and that caused John to be even madder. John sees his life as over because he won t make tenure, he can t buy that house and now he just battered a student. This could have been prevented if John didn t misuse his power and if Carol told John how she felt.