Cleansed, a drama in twenty scenes, is Sarah Kane’s third play. Set in “an institution designed to rid society of its undesirables”, according to the cover of the first edition of the playtext, “a group of inmates try to save themselves through love.” Using four interweaving storylines, Kane explores the theme of love, testing her characters by putting them in a concentration camp where they are subjected to horrendous atrocities. The main story is about Grace’s search for her brother Graham, an addict who’s been murdered by Tinker, a sadistic guard or doctor at the institution. Grace wears Graham’s clothes, dances with his spirit, makes love to him, and finally – after receiving a penis transplant – becomes him. Juxtaposed with this story of sibling bonding is the…

1977 words

Citation: Sierz, Aleks, Julie Waddington. "Cleansed". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2004 [, accessed 07 December 2023.]

15073 Cleansed 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.