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Cloud 9

Main Ideas

Symbols

Main Ideas Symbols

Betty's Necklace

Betty's necklace, the one that Edward steals in Act I, actually physically reappears in Act II. In Act I, the necklace represents Edward's secret defiance of his family in seeking Harry's love. In Act II, the necklace symbolizes Betty's connection with the past. She offers the necklace to Cathy, suggesting that she still holds on to some traditional notions of femininity. Cathy's acceptance of the necklace suggest that even the daughter of a lesbian can be influenced by society's standards of what women are supposed to be.

Guns

Guns are first used as an indication of the violence of Clive's world. Clive's system of control turns on him when, at the end of the act, Joshua raises a gun to shoot him. Ironically, the system that Clive sets up eventually brings about his demise. Guns remain a symbol of power in Act II. Lin arms daughter Cathy with toy guns to give Cathy status that Lin never had as a little girl. Lin mentions that her mother never gave her guns. Even amidst the sexual liberation of Act II, the threat of violence is necessary to represent control and status.

Dolls

In Act I, dolls become a symbol of submissive femininity. Just as dolls are crafted by a doll-maker, Clive's children, especially Victoria (who is played by a doll/dummy in the first act) have been formed out of Clive's idea of who they should be. Clive and Betty periodically catch Edward playing with Victoria's doll, foreshadowing his later desire to play a submissive role in a homosexual relationship.