The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Mari’s Character and Use of Language in Scene Seven of "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice" 12th Grade

Throughout The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Cartwright presents the character of Mari Hoff as irresponsible and vulgar, especially through his use of colloquial language. Scene Seven certainly supports this view, but also introduces her vulnerability: a trait that the audience must understand before the play can be comprehended.

When Cartwright opens the scene he immediately presents Mari’s affection and adoration for Ray, since she refers to him as ‘Darling’ and ‘goes to embrace him’, which indicates a strong emotional attachment. Earlier in the play Mari has been presented as a sexual character both physically and verbally, through neologisms such as ‘wizzle and mince’ which proves her apparent sexual allure. However, Mari’s physical attraction to Ray is made clear since ‘Ray is dressing’, which implies that he was previously undressed to ‘roll about’. Since Cartwright portrays that Mari has an emotional attachment to Ray as well as physical, she instantly appears more vulnerable to the audience, which allows the audience to feel pathos towards her.

Furthermore, Ray’s feelings towards Mari are made clear when he rejects her ‘embrace’ because he has ‘got to dash’; putting his chance for fame and fortune in front of his...

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