Carousel: Social Justice

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 2.42.46 PMCarousel, (music by Richard Rogers and book/lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) tells of mill-worker Julie and carousel barker Billy’s tumultuous love. After falling in love, Billy and Julie marry and soon conceive a child. Having been fired from the carousel, Billy has no idea how to make money to support his growing family. Insecure and afraid, Billy lashes out at Julie and hits her. With his back against the wall, Billy attempts a robbery with his friend Jigger and is killed. Billy is sent to purgatory where he can see how his daughter, Louise, has grown into a teenager. Louise is isolated and alienated because of her parents and Billy realizes that he was wrong to hit Julie and attempt thievery.

Stonecutters Cut it In Stone: 1994 Revival

Here, Jigger has attempted to make away with Julie’s friend Carrie. They are caught by Carrie’s fiancee, Enoch who promptly ends their relationship. Jigger laments the stereotypical “nice guy” as bad for women.

Ballet: Movie

Billy has descended from his purgatory to watch his teenage daughter, Louise. No one person gives her a real chance and she is frequently tormented due to people’s impressions on her parents.

What’s the Use of Wonderin’: 1994 Revival

Julie reveals to Carrie that Billy has hit her. Carrie immediately jumps to hanger but Julie defends him, saying “he’s your fella and you love him, that’s all there is to that.” Julie exhibits a passive role in her relationship with Billy, not actually standing up for herself and simply taking his abuse.

When the Children Are Asleep: 1994 Revival

Here Carrie and Enoch dream about their future together. Carrie thinks fondly of the children they will have while Enoch gets carried away fantasizing about the size of his fleet and the size of his flock. He does not consider how Carrie would appreciate the amount of children he wants (they end up with nine children) and simply states how their family life will work out.


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