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Jane Martin's Rodeo is a dramatic monologue play that focuses on the single character Big Eight, who is concerned with emerging events in the sports world. Martin presents the reader with several stereotypical props in the opening scenes, where one can shape stereotypes of hardworking, beer-drinking, and a cowboy picture even from the introductory songs. However, the character's revelation as a woman makes the play an intriguing one, as does the drama's extension on how the character is distressed due to the inclusion of new subjects in her passionate sports practice. The actor recalls how she could enjoy the game with her father before sponsors came in. According to the perspective of the author; Rodeo was done for pleasure as people were riding a horse without the influence of money. The play presents the theme of change through an explanation of sponsors and new lifestyle affecting Rodeo as a sports activity.
Big Eight reflects on how over the last several years, sports activities which people did for pleasures can and will be sensationalized and commercialized by great companies. She cites big companies such as Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola, and Marlboro, which have thousands of dollars each year budgeted for the sports in the form of sponsorship and advertising. In page three, Big Eight says, '"When ya rodeo yer just bound to kick yerself up some dust - well now, seems like that fogs up the ol' TV camera, so they told us a while back that from now on we was gonna ride on some new stuff called Astro-dirt." (Martin 3). Such changes in Rodeo and other gaming activities make entry fee for the competitions high hence segregating people from participation despite benefiting winners. According to the author, though changes are inevitable and beneficial to the society, some things remain better alone rather than modifications geared towards taking advantages of financial benefits.
Another change illustrated by Martin is the change of lifestyle in participation in sports leading to change of clothes while riding horses. While the main character tries to adapt to the arrival of sponsors, she is uncomfortable with the dress code changes. She notes on page two that, "Wants us to ride around dressed up like Mickey Mouse, Pluto, crap like that." (Martin 2). Big Eight is not for the idea of dressing women in fancy outfits since she does not think that it would contribute to increasing of audience capacity since Rodeo is all about riding horses and not about audience capacities. According to the presentation of the author, Rodeo is not about how one wears but about how one rides the horse. However, her cry seems to meet barriers of the influence the new clothes design have with most city people embracing it.
In conclusion, Jane Martin uses the play to reveal how modernization has contributed to change in routine societal activities, which in the past were mare-socializing activities. In the current generation, these actions have had sponsors influence hence became commercial events restricting entrance for the participants. Such change occurs in the lifestyle with new fashions such as the fancy designs designed for the game as described by the author by the city people as they attend or participate in the sports. The play, therefore, has implications that great changes are occurring in each field in the contemporary world.
Martin, Jane. Rodeo--. Samuel French, Inc., 1983.
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