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Woman’s Weak-Mindedness Through Her Body Movement

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Wolfe continues to depicts the Woman’s weak-mindedness through her body movement. Throughout Janine’s speech, the Woman begins to imitate Janine, moving her head and neck back and forth in a sassy way. This imitation represents how the Woman impersonates her peers. She continues this emulation during Lawanda’s speech as well. As Lawanda tosses her tresses and yells, “I want you out of my life, forever!!!”(Wolfe, The Hairpiece), the Woman follows her doing the same. As a result, the audience can conclude that the Woman lacks the ability to think or speak on her own.

The audience can also draw conclusions about the Woman and African American women through closer analysis of the props present in this performance. At the beginning of the piece, the Woman placed a towel on her head to cover the her lack of hair, which remained throughout the duration of the play. The use of the towel shows that the woman is ashamed of her natural being. This idea is also displayed with the use of other props such as makeup, jewelry, and many hair products. Despite all of this products and accessories, the Woman’s efforts are never enough to comply to the standards. With the usage of diction and/or dialogue, body movement and props, George C. Wolfe is able to effectively communicate his criticism of African American women’s needs to conform.

The Hairpiece demonstrates the importance of self-identity, allowing African American women to reflect on the unnatural and impractical views of beauty. African American women should not feel the need to subject themselves to the public’s standards. It is essential for every man, woman, or child to feel comfortable and accepted in their own skin. Sadly, although The Hairpiece was a performance, many women in society are able to relate to the feelings of the Woman. Hence, Wolfe explores a very significant yet controversial topic.



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