The Ecstasy Of Rita Joe Essay

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Set in the mid-1960’s, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe is a play written by George Ryga, which tells the story of a young Shuswap woman who comes to the city from the reserve to find work and a better life, and instead finds that she has embarked on a “odyssey through hell” in the words of George Ryga, that eventually culminates in her rape and murder. Since its applauded premiere in 1967, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe has become a recognized play in Canada, and has enjoyed that status for over three decades, with over 200 productions taking place over that time. However, over those three decades, there has been significant and radical change in the way First Nations People are recognized, represented, heard and perceived in Canada. With this in mind, how can it be possible that this play is still relevant and accurate to First Nations representation in Canada? This paper will try to determine, in regards to…show more content…
For example, the play in Quebec could be said to be a representation of identity politics of French-Speaking Canadians, or a commentary on something as simple as football in England. While George Ryga’s script is extremely powerful and thought-provoking, no single text is consistently set to one story, theme, message or idea. The words and ideas are constantly stretched to accommodate vast and potentially unrelated situations. Like any kind of artistic text, The Ecstasy Of Rita Joe, while surely has a specific meaning intended by Ryga, is not impervious to humanities need to relate to current situations and events, and find meaning in the script relating to current events, nor is it resistant to the needed flexibility of any creative

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