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IntimateApparel: Sources to Intimacy

Theplay intimate Apparel revolves around the events as experienced by aseamstress by the Name Esther who sews for people with variedsocio-economic status ranging from rich white women to harlots.Loneliness soon engulfs Esther as she grows older without gettingmarried and this leads her to have a relationship with George, a manwho she has never met. Despite this occurrence, Esther has anemotional connection with a Jewish shopkeeper whom she gets hermaterial from by the name Mark. This attraction is mutual between thetwo but due to an array of circumstances, they cannot get married.This essay therefore discusses the ways in which sources to intimacyare depicted in the relationship between Esther and Mark.

Depictionof Sources to Intimacy

Firstand foremost, Esther makes garment more so undergarments. These are,in the play, illustrated as intimate garments as Esther also callsthem. The use of this term provides two meanings one which mayactually portray the loneliness Esther is experiencing and her needfor an intimate relationship. This could be seen as a source thatpushes her on the road to finding a husband thus the chance to fallin love with Marks. In addition Esther also depicted as beingserious, with her work and also reserved. In addition she is depictedas a keeper of the things she values by the presence of the sewingmachine which is seemingly old. This observation brings an aura ofEsther being dedicated to her work and also a relationship given thechance (Hurwitt).Furthermore there are weddings which keep going on as other girls aregetting married yet Esther does not. Keeping in mind that she is theone who makes the garments for these women, she also has garments ofher own and this provides a hope and the motivation to look for asuitor who could marry her and therefore serving as a source ofintimacy (Nicholson).

Mr.Marks who is the fabric salesman is depicted as being a goodsalesman. This can be seen in the manner in which he presents hismerchandise to his customers elucidating that the quality of the itemis worthwhile. His dealings with good material can be attributed tohis character as a good person and his mannerisms also show that heis open and this gives an opportunity that makes Esther to have apositive attitude towards him. In addition to the manners and salesprowess, Marks is seen as being fixated upon his Jewish cultures.Betrothed to another woman she has never seen, he doesn’t letEsther touch him and he also avoids contact with her as he movesaround his store. This attribute portrays him as being loyal to hisbeliefs and doings, a quality which is possibly a source of Esther’sadmiration for him(Hughley).

Onesource of intimacy between Esther and Mr. Marks that cannot beignored focuses on the interaction that the two have during theirbusiness transactions. For one, Esther likes the quality of the finesilk and laces that Mr. Marks sells and Mr. Marks on the other sidelikes the quality of work that Esther does. This can be seen when hesays that it is not common for something exquisite to enter hisstore. He is referring to the fabrics but this could also be taken tosuppose that he was talking about Esther. In addition, he isattracted to her sewing prowess and says that he “wished for herhands” which either could mean he wished he could sew like her oranother hidden meaning that he wished to have an intimaterelationship with her. Clearly, this interaction happens repeatedlyand signals the beginning of a mutual interest and attraction betweenthe two (Hughley).

Notwithstandingthe fact that Mr. Marks does not allow physical contact with Esther,the size of his store is quite small which makes the distance betweenhimself and Esther to be quite small. This closeness portrays theconnection that the two experienced and this can be further supportedby what happens after Esther realizes that George was no the perfecthusband he had dreamed of and they part ways. Esther takes a garmentto Mr. Marks as a gift which he accepts. This marks a significantevent as the pent up tension and emotions between the two areheightened and for the first time, Mr. Marks allows physical contactfrom Esther albeit against his Culture (Pinkerton).

Romanceand intimacy between Esther and Mr. Mars is also fuelled by thesimilar characters they both portrayed. They are both depicted asbeing kind, affectionate and sincere. This can be seen by the waythese two interact with their clients with no evidence of anysquabbles regarding the quality of their work. In addition, theirfaithfulness can be observed by the way they hold back their feelingsfor each other for the reasons that one is already betrothed.Clearly, the mutual understanding and the almost similar experiencesthe two have bridges the gap between them creating a space forintimacy to sprout (Drexel).


Drexel,Kitty. &quotThe Intimacy of Lingerie: INTIMATE APPAREL.&quot 24February 2015. TheNew England Theatre Geek.20 March 2016.

Hughley,Marty. &quotA lovely intimacy, in underthings and otherwise.&quot16 September 2014. Oregon`sArtswatch.Document. 20 March 2016.

Hurwitt,Sam. &quotTheater review: Intimacy has impact in AlterTheater`s`Intimate Apparel.&quot 13 October 2010. Entertainment.Document. 20 March 2016.

Nicholson,David. &quotPlay Explores Intimacy On Stage.&quot 20 January 2006.DailyPress.Document. 20 March 2016.

Pinkerton,Kate. &quotIntimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.&quot 2015. GrandTheatre.Document. 20 March 2016.