Tom Stoppard's Portrayal of Czechoslovakian History in Rock 'n' Roll
Katherine E. Ramlose
Dr. Bob Mielke, Faculty Mentor
Tom Stoppards play, Rock 'n' Roll, has often been described as merely an entertaining drama of love and music during a time of revolution. But a closer reading reveals Stoppards extremely in-depth and accurate portrayal of the political and cultural upheaval in Czechoslovakia, which led to the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Communist regime. Stoppard portrays the different reactions of the Czechoslovakian public to the political turmoil and revolution within their homeland by representing each reaction or sect of people with a different main character. The characters ceaselessly argue about their cultural and political views, refusing to believe they are fighting for the same cause. It does not become clear until the end of the play that the dissidents, the rock 'n' roll proponents of self-expression, the diehard idealist Communists, and the allegedly indifferent civilians fuel each others actions, ultimately bringing about the Velvet Revolution through their unity.
Keywords: Tom Stoppard, Czechoslovakia, Velvet Revolution
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1324