Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 9, 2023
December 2, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
Full Title Cloud 9
Author/Playwright Caryl Churchill
Type of Work Play
Genre Farce; Satire; Surreal Play; Brechtian Drama
Time and place written 1979, London
Date of first publication 1979, Pluto Press Limited and Joint Stock Theatre Group
Narrator not applicable (drama)
Point of view not applicable (drama)
Tone In the farcical first act of Cloud 9,Churchill uses a sarcastic tone to poke fun at British colonialist attitudes. Her sarcasm is biting, and the dark humor of the act is meant to cut deep. Churchill creates sympathy for the women in this act, but she forgives no one. Even the women are left open to criticism. In the more realistic second act, Churchill becomes more sympathetic, allowing her audience to see the struggle of each character. She acknowledges that the quest for identity is a difficult one, coming only at the cost of much personal anguish.
Tense not applicable (drama)
Setting (time) Act I: Victorian times; Act II: 1979 (twenty-five years later for the characters)
Setting (place) Act I: A British colony in Africa; Act II: London
Protagonist Betty and/or Clive
Major conflict The struggle of Betty and her children, and even all of Britain, to break free from the past and establish identities apart from those previously assigned to them by tradition.
Rising Action In Act I, unrest among the natives rises, as does Clive's family's concern for their safety. Sexual tensions grow between and Harry and Edward, Harry and Betty. Clive loses control of his family . In Act II, Victoria begins to experiment with homosexuality. Betty finds a job and starts life anew as a single woman. Lin and Edward aggressively pursue relationships with Victoria and Gerry respectively.
Climax In Act I, Clive learns of Harry's homosexuality and forces Harry to marry. In Act II, The Dead Hand Gang assaults Cathy.
Falling Action In Act I, Joshua raises his gun to shoot Clive as the act draws to a close. In Act II, Martin and Lin argue over who was responsible for Cathy, and Lin leaves.
Themes The Confusion of Gender; The Quest for Identity; The Haunting of the Present by the Past; The Oppressiveness of Violence
Motifs Singing; Embracing; Seasons
Symbols Betty's Necklace; Guns; Dolls
Foreshadowing Edward plays with Victoria's doll, foreshadowing his inclination toward femininity and homosexuality. Betty falls for Harry Bagley, foreshadowing her eventual break with Clive. Additionally, Joshua's complete subservience could be interpreted to foreshadow the murder attempt on Clive. Joshua is so well behaved, one wonders how much he really means it.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Cloud 9!