“The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends”: The Scapegoat Mechanism in “Oklahoma!”

The other night I went to see my friend in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, the popular 1943 boot-stomping, skirt-swirling barnyard dance of a musical. It’s a high-energy show with a happy ending, but I did not come away with my heart warmed. In fact, I found myself thinking less about Curly and Laurey’s beautiful morning, and more about the dark subtexts of the musical.

So buckle your seatbelts, folks. We’re in for a wild ride of over-analyzing one of the oldest modern musicals, with a little help from French philosopher Rene Girard!

Read More »