Ari Fogelson

Date of Award


First Advisor

Asma Abbas

Second Advisor

Laurence Wallach

Third Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer


This thesis explores politics, theatre, and history through Genet's play The Maids. Written after the end of the occupation, The Maids epitomizes this post-traumatic moment in French history. The Maids has, however, most of ten been read in order to redeem the politics of the following decades and interpreted as celebrating the sexual liberation of the invididuated bourgeois subject. Due consideration has not been given to issues of violence and representation. Taking post-occupation France as an historical moment, I attend to these issues that I feel have been missed in other readings, and proceed to read in The Maids some features of both how France was redeemed and what end this redemption served. I locate the play in its historical scene and bring out various aspects connecting the life of the maids and the recovery from war.

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