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Proof Analysis: The Story Of Catherine (Other (Not Listed) Sample)


Writing a Historical, Social, or Cultural Analysis after reading "Proof"
Analyze how "Proof" reveals historical, social, or cultural trends. In other words, how does history, society, or culture affect the characters or influence the theme, for instance? You can focus on a variety of literary terms here.
In historical, social, or cultural analyses, your reading would extend beyond the text to encompass historical background information, social norms, and cultural values... You would consider the relevance of such information to your reading of the work.
Your paper
Must contain sufficient evidence from the novel "Proof" and three outside sources (two must be scholarly)
Integrate quotes effectively
Use MLA documentation for in-text citations and the Works Cited page.
Will be 5-6 pages, double-spaced.


Proof Analysis

Imagine having to live your life afraid of accepting who you are and being misunderstood by those who are supposed to love you the most! This is the story of Catherine as depicted by David Auburn in his 2000 play titled Proof. The play received a lot of national attention and went on to earn the Drama Desk Award, the Tony Award for Best Play, and also the Pulitzer Prize (Krizel). The play narrates the story of Catherine, an intelligent young girl who has spent years taking care of her father who is mentally challenged and is a mathematical genius. Catherine is exhibiting the same mathematical capabilities that her father had but this makes her afraid that she may become mentally disabled as her father did. Her only sister including her potential boyfriend is skeptical of her mental stability. Using this play, one can see how societal misconceptions and the desire to fit can influence the decisions one makes. It is important to explore how society affects the characters in the story using the themes of love and trust, gender, and family conflicts.

One way that society affects the characters in Proof is through love. Society views love as an element that is essential to help people bond and remain close with each other forever. In the beginning of the story, Catherine is talking with her father. Although it indicates that her father is died, the story shows that Catherine and her father shared a lot of love for each other. For example, he does not forget Catherine’s birthday even he has mental disease. Also, in order to show Catherine’s love to her father, she dropped out of school so that she could take care of him. Catherine refused to take her father into a mental health hospital because she believed that he could be safer and healthier living at home. She tells Claire, “He needed to be here. In his own house, near the University, near his students, near everything that made him happy” (Auburn 39). For Catherine, her father’s welfare came before her own and this explains why she had to drop out of school to be his caretaker, Gropman, Woodcock, and Lloyd (212) note that love and sacrifice for the family is something important for creating strong ties as described in the story. Catherine shows this love to his father and her father also loved her dearly. In this way, love influences the relationships that people link with one another in the society.

The other way that society affects the characters in the story is through trust. Wimp (74) says that trust is important in helping people feel content that they can rely and depend on someone else. It is clear that without trust, relationships cannot grow easily, and people are forced to stay away from each other. In this story, many characters do not trust each other. One part that shows the lack of trust is the relationship between Catherine and her sister Claire. When Claire arrives, she begins to doubt Catherine. When Catherine says she called the police at the previous night and her friend Hal was in her house late at night, she does not believe her. Claire doubts that Catherine may have the same mental illness as her father. She does not feel that Catherine’s mind was clear enough and that is why she had an altercation with the police. Wimp (73) argues that Claire felt that Catherine was trying to hide the truth that she was suffering from the same condition that their father struggled with for a long time. What’s more, Claire is the first one to doubt that Catherine did not come up with the mathematical proof that Hal found in Robert’s study room. Catherine tells Hal, “I should have known she wouldn’t believe me but why don’t you” (Auburn 54)? From this statement, it

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