Things I Know to be True: cultural context

Things I Know to be True: cultural context

Contextual Understanding

  • The play “Things I Know to be True” was written by Australian playwright Andrew Bovell and premiered in Adelaide, Australia, in 2016. Knowledge of this geographical and temporal context could influence interpretations of the play’s characters and themes.
  • Bovell’s work often comments on familial and societal issues within an Australian context. Note that issues and themes within the play can be local (pertaining to the Adelaide setting), national (reflecting broader Australian culture), or universal (touching on themes relatable on a global scale, like family dynamics).

Characters and Family Dynamics

  • The family in the play, the Prices, represents an average, working-class Australian family. Understanding the practices, attitudes, and values of such a family unit can aid in understanding character motivations and relations.
  • Australia’s cultural policies significantly promote multiculturalism. This means that the country’s context is one of diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences, which is indirectly alluded to in the play.
  • Australia grapples with issues such as economic disparity, societal pressures, and changing family structures, all of which are central to “Things I Know to be True.”
  • “Things I Know To Be True” also explores generational differences and conflicts within the family, reflecting the transition of traditional values and family structures into complex contemporary norms.

Australian Identity and Relationship with Britain

  • Australia’s relationship with Britain, being a former British colony, could also provide relevant context. Understanding what being ‘Australian’ means to Australian people and how they relate to their British past can help in interpreting attitudes within the Price family.

Gender Roles and Scenic Context

  • The roles of gender within family and society are evident in the different expectations set for the Price siblings. Understanding the cultural context of gender roles in Australia can enhance understanding of these characters and their struggles.
  • The natural beauty of Australia, particularly in Adelaide where the play is set, is described frequently, creating a specific atmosphere. Be sure to note how this context impacts the mood, tone, and symbolism within the play.