The symptoms of culture are the anxieties that underlie modern life: the instability of gender roles, the mysteries of female sexuality, the enigma of authority, the desire for greatness in ourselves and our heroes. From concern over fake orgasms to our worries about Great Books reading lists, from wanting God on our side at sports contests to wanting Shakespeare on our side whenever we want to sound important, we are a walking case of symptoms. Whatever the modern illness may be, the doctor locates the symptoms in a box of Jello or in Charlotte's marvelous web, on the football field or in the bedroom, in our great Mr. Shakespeare, in our classroom or the courtroom, or in a sneeze.
About Marjorie Garber
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Published April 8, 1998
Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment.