Heidi Chronicles

Heidi Holland and Feminism in The Heidi Chronicles Wendy Wassersteinís The

Heidi Chronicles attempts to demonstrate the futility of the womenís rights
movement, and its incapacity to fulfill the needs of all women. We trace the
main character, Heidi, from the time she develops an interest in men, 1964, to
the time where she gives up on men and decides to fulfill her own needs for a
family by adopting a child. Wasserstein shows the infiltrating changes in the
life of American women with humor and sentimentality. Trapped between the
controlling factors of responsibility and love, men and motherhood, gender and
political theory, Heidi and her friends search for understanding and selfhood
over a 40-year span. In many ways, Heidi is a passive character. She is torn
between her own desires and the influence of those around her when deciding the
course of her life. For example, in Act 1 Scene 2, she meets Scoop. It is
obvious she does not want to talk to him, but instead if being direct, she lies
about her name: "I know your name is Heidi because it says so on your name
tag. Heidi. H-E-I-D-I" (Wasserstein 173). Scoop catches her in her lie,
putting her on the spot. The whole situation could have been avoided, however,
had she a more confrontational temperament. She is also very non-committal in
her involvement with womenís rights. There is even a hilarious 1970s
consciousness-raising session set in an Ann Arbor church basement. Act 1 Scene 3
demonstrates the general voice of the womenís movement. Although she is not a
lesbian, as are some others in the group, Heidi participates, although only
half-heartedly. As Fran then says to her, "You either shave your legs or you
donít" (Wasserstein 180). That is to say, she can either be involved or not,
there is no in between path. In Sue Ellen Caseís article titled "Radical

Feminism and Theater" she writes: "Feminism is a theory; Lesbianism is the
practice." This statement embodies the feelings invoked at the meeting Heidi
attends. She separates herself from women due to her involvement with men, and
can therefore never truly put the theory into practice. Her involvement with men
is unsuccessful, to say the least. One of Heidiís biggest problems is that she
cannot seem to form new group of friends who will suit her needs. Rather, she
sticks by the friendships she formed in her youth, although they leave her empty
and unfulfilled. For example, her relationship with Scoop is both futile and
maddening. Scoopís behavior is intolerable, yet appealing because he is direct
and unconventional. When they meet, he says to her, "Are you a virgin? If you
choose to accept this mission Iíll find out one way or another"(Wasserstein

174). Coming from any other man, that comment deserve a slap across the face,
but Heidi is intrigued by Scoop because he is so original and forthright.

However, they are both repelled by each otherís ambitious and acquisitive
nature. Scoop could never marry a woman like Heidi because she is strong of
mind, outspoken, and competitive. All these are "non feminine" personality
attributes, and he is basically scared off as he later admits in Act 1 Scene 5,
at his wedding. Scoopís relationship with Heidi is so frustrating because of
the combination of the fact that he is not in love with his wife, he is in love
with Heidi, yet he strings her along and never commits to her. It is obvious
that he is in love with Heidi; he kisses her on his wedding day. He says to

Heidi: "Is she an A+ like you? No. But I donít want to come home to an A+.

A- maybe, but not A+"(Wasserstein 201). He knows that Heidi embodies a
multitude of qualities that he both adores and are somewhat intimidating.

Therefore, he chooses to marry Lisa Freidlander, the opposite of all the things

Heidi represents to Scoop.