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When we hit rock bottom, most people try to pinpoint each decision that led us downhill. We regain our sight and are able to discover our blind spots – the points where we were fully unaware of our surroundings and the mistakes we were making. In The Wake parallels Ellen’s journey in discovering her blind spots with the blind spots America had throughout the George W. Bush presidency. The research that I have provided on this site aims to dig further into the details of the issues behind this play and look at how the play was then received by audiences due to these issues.

The Bush II Administration dealt with a great deal throughout its eight years running the United States. From 9/11 to the financial crisis of 2008, Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq, Bush led the country out of and into some difficult times. There are moments where we can clearly see his mistakes, though at the time the right rout must have been less clear. Since his first days in office until the day he left, Bush’s presidency was riddled with controversy.

Something that immediately drew me to this piece is the parallel between our current political climate and the political climate in which this play takes place. The year is 2000 and Bush has just been nominated president over Democrat Al Gore after losing the popular vote and winning the Electoral College. There seems to be a divide in the nation as a conservative president took office after a liberal leader. This situation seems almost eerily similar to the election that occurred 16 years later, with Donald Trump losing the popular vote to Hilary Clinton, yet winning the Electoral College and thus the presidency. These parallels should not be overlooked and should not be taken lightly. This play gives us an opportunity today to look back and see how some handled a controversial presidency 16 years ago in the hopes that we can find better ways to express our views concerning the state of America today.