January 14, 2018
August: Osage County: Violet Weston
Violet was a wife, mother, and grandmother to a family that
was falling apart. She is a woman who suffers from a pill addiction and oral
cancer. Knowing she needs help, Violet is an emotionally damaged, witty old
lady towards all, who will not admit she needs help. Throughout the story we
learn about the family dynamic and who she really was, while seeing how
significant her role was when it came to family relationships and her
Located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Violet and her late husband
Beverley lived comfortably in their home. The two of them lived a decent life,
Beverley who was a great writer, poems in particular. Later down the road, was
an alcoholic and stopped writing; then supposedly committed suicide. But, who
was Violet, really? She was 65-year-old woman who has spent her life in Pawhuska,
Oklahoma with her husband Beverley whom she had three daughters with; Barbara,
Ivy, and Karen. When it comes to her daughters, she treats them with beyond
disrespects, making it known that she resents them. This is a reflection on how
she was brought up. Families pass down practices to generation after
generation. One characteristic that was obvious was the family did not practice
a religion. For some, practicing could help issues the Weston family had. The
dinner following the funeral, Violet said “Someone should probably say grace,”
where then everyone looked at one another as if it were a foreign language
Violet being a victim of emotional abuse from her mother in
the same way she treats her daughters. Knowing her daughter Ivy is a beautiful
girl, she insults her constantly. For instance, she tells her, “You’re a pretty
girl. You’re the prettiest of my three girls, but you always look like such a
schlub (Letts 25). Ivy is the only one
who lives close to her mother, where Barbara and Karen lives hours away. Since
she’s the only local one, the most is put onto her. Violet nags Ivy about
seeing men, especially since she is younger. Violet claims that as women age
they become fat and wrinkly (Letts 65).
Insecurity of her own, Violet beats on the people around
her. Due to her pill popping habit, while suffering from mouth cancer and
chemotherapy treatments her negativity towards herself and others was at an
extreme. When her husband hired Johanna, a Native American woman to help with
the home they could no longer take care of due to their addictive diseases,
Violet mocks her and continuously judges her and refers to her as that Indian.
She felt threatened that Johanna was taking her duty as the wife in the home
without realizing that she did not do the duties of one. On page 37, Violet
said “A cook? So, he hired a cook? It doesn’t make any sense. We don’t eat.”
Which proved that she felt there was no need for Johanna if her and Beverley
did not eat. Violet also mocks Beverley when he first introduced Johanna to
Violet saying she was entertainment that was hired. Violet showed her
insecurity about another woman potentially being a threat to what was hers.
Which aforementioned supports herself hate about getting old, fat, and wrinkly
(Letts 65). Violet feels this way because years ago, her sister Mattie Fae and
Beverley had an affair with each other resulting in a child. Though it was
always a secret never spoken of, Beverly, Mattie Fae, and Violet knew (Letts
Even though that was always kept a secret, her drug abuse
was always obvious. Violet was always popping some kind of pill in her mouth
when she started feeling something in general. The pills she took ranged from
Valium. Vicodin. Darvon, Darvocet. Percodan, Percocet. Xanax for fun. OxyContin
in a pinch (Letts 15). After Beverly’s funeral, Violet took a string of pills
before dinner. This is not the first time she has been abusing prescription
drugs either. On page 96, Violet said “I am a drug addict. I am addicted to
drugs, pills, ‘specially downers.” Which proved old habits never die. Earlier
Barbara and Violet have a conversation about her abusing again, which shows
that Barbara knew about her mother’s habits, despising her for it. Barbara
knowing this put another strain on her and her mother’s relationship, the other
being the fact that Barbara was her father’s favorite.
She could not stand that Barbara was Beverly’s favorite.
This goes along with Violets inability to have a decent relationship with any
of her daughters. She blames Barbara for her father’s disappearance and death.
Since Barbara no longer lived in Oklahoma, the relationship with her dad was
minimal so, mom had to blame someone else for his condition, it had to be
Barbara. Violet was bitter towards the relationship, along with all of her
children’s. She criticized all three of them about their relationships. She
could not stand to be the only one who suffered from broken ones.
Due to the years of ongoing bottled up emotions, abuse, and
dysfunction, Violet became more bitter towards her family while addicted to pain
pills, doing chemotherapy for mouth cancer. She was abused emotionally as a
little girl, her mother daughter relationship with her own kids were just as
bad as her and her mothers. Throughout her marriage she was betrayed leading to
her insecurities and self-doubt, which she inflicted onto others around her.
Calling her own daughter ugly and rude to the woman her husband hired to help.
Through her drug abuse she was in denial about it, always claiming they were
just muscle relaxers. When she got high off of them she would make no sense and
cause more trouble. Violet also took them so she could not feel, her mouth
cancer hurt, along with her relationship with others, she was envious towards
them. All of this made Violet a vindictive, mean, woman who caused a lot of
Letss, Tracy. August: Osage County. New
York: Theatre Communications Group, Inc, 2008. Digital Kindle Edition.