Rebellion as a Means of Temporary Escape from Disillusionment as Reflected in David Hare’s Teeth ’n’ Smiles

Imren Yelmis


Subcultures mainly emerge as a resistance to the status quo/ the Establishment. They create their own discourses/ languages and an escapist dream world of their own in which, they think, they will be momentarily happy, and will symbolically vomit their anger, as if they were in a carnival, as Bakhtin argues, where many voices are heard, and which deconstructs the norms of the Establishment. In relation to this idea, it might be argued that, similarly, rock bands’ aggressive manners while singing reflect their rebellious nature and resistance towards the mainstream culture. In a way, they exhibit carnivalesque characteristics through defying the rules with their own ways. David Hare, in his Teeth ’n’ Smiles (1975), which is set in the late 1960s, tells a similar rock band which mirrors its rebellious nature through rock ’n’ roll songs. The aggressive nature of this band and their songs, are, in fact, reflective of their disillusionment and may be an answer to the events or situations observed not only in Britain but also abroad such as May 1968 French students’ rebellion and Britain’s loss of power after World War II. It is also important to state that the frustrations observed in the 1960s as reflected in the play, in fact, reflect the frustration that Hare himself experienced when he was a student at Cambridge. In the light of the above-mentioned statements, this paper aims to discuss the relationship between Bakhtin’s idea of carnivalesque and the rock ’n’ roll band in Hare’s Teeth ’n’ Smiles, in terms of exhibiting their rebellious nature and of a momentary escape from frustrations resulting from the errors of the Establishment.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n3p437

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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