How I Learned to Drive

Aunt Mary is Uncle Peck’s wife the sister of Li’l Bit’s mother. She is played by the Female Greek Chorus. Aunt Mary doesn’t appear much in the play but has a brief monologue in which she defends Peck’s honor despite knowing about his attraction to Li’l Bit. In fact, she blames Li’l Bit for what happens, calling her niece “sly” and placing the responsibility of Peck’s abuse on her alone.
Get the entire How I Learned to Drive LitChart as a printable PDF.
How i learned to drive.pdf.medium

Aunt Mary Character Timeline in How I Learned to Drive

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Mary appears in How I Learned to Drive. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
How I Learned to Drive
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...Li’l Bit in the present, she would then storm out of the house weeping. Her Aunt Mary , Peck’s wife voiced by the female chorus, would send him after her, commenting that... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...changes as she insists that what they’re doing is “wrong,” saying “it’s not nice to Aunt Mary .” Peck insists that he will be the judge of what’s “nice” to his wife. (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
As Peck tells her that she looks “beautiful,” Li’l Bit praises the beauty of Aunt Mary (Peck’s wife). Peck says that Aunt Mary’s beauty doesn’t “cancel” out hers. To make Li’l... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
...calling out: “Idling in the Neutral Gear.” The male chorus presents the female chorus as Aunt Mary , who speaks to the audience “on behalf of her husband.” The female chorus/Aunt Mary... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The female chorus/ Aunt Mary says that she knows Peck has “troubles.” She mentions Peck’s war experiences and how he... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...whatever is “bothering” Peck—as long as he stays sober. She doesn’t want her mother or Aunt Mary to know. It has to be in public, she says: “You’ve got to let me—draw... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...She explains that she thinks she is “flunking out.” Making small talk, she asks about Aunt Mary and then about Peck’s new car. He proudly explains that it’s a “Cadillac El Dorado”—and... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...bed. The male chorus and the female chorus (who is still in the voice of Aunt Mary ) recite a surreal “Recipe for a Southern Boy,” describing Peck’s physical characteristics in an... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...that at forty-five he’s not too “old for a man” and that he will divorce Aunt Mary to be with her. She exclaims: “This isn’t happening.” She tells him to go home,... (full context)