How I Learned to Drive

Teenage Greek Chorus Character Analysis

The teenage chorus is instructed by Vogel to be significantly younger, or at least younger-looking, than the other choruses. In the most jarring chorus role, the teenage chorus plays Li’l Bit’s grandmother, who vividly likens Li’l Bit’s grandfather’s sexual behavior to that of a “bull” and accepts her husband’s view that a woman’s main purpose is to “have the table set and the bed turned down.” Perhaps, by being played by the youngest actress, Vogel is signaling toward the cyclical nature of behavior within a family—though the grandmother is old, she presents unequal gender roles that, though perhaps changed in one or two ways, are still entrenched. The teenage chorus also plays some of Li’l Bit’s high school companions. Most poignantly of all, the teenage chorus plays Li’l Bit’s own voice in the play’s penultimate scene, which depicts the first instance of abuse by Uncle Peck. This emphasizes just how young Li’l Bit was at this time—eleven—and how, in Li’l Bit’s own words, it was the “the last day I lived in my body.”

Teenage Greek Chorus Quotes in How I Learned to Drive

The How I Learned to Drive quotes below are all either spoken by Teenage Greek Chorus or refer to Teenage Greek Chorus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Theater Communications Group edition of How I Learned to Drive published in 2018.
How I Learned to Drive Quotes

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. (As Grandmother.) Your grandfather only cares that I do two things: have the table set and the bed turned down.

Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:
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TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Am I doing it right?

PECK. That’s right. Now, whatever you do, don’t let go of the wheel. You tell me whether to go faster or slower —

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Not so fast, Uncle Peck!

PECK. Li’l Bit — I need you to watch the road — (Peck puts his hands on Li’l Bit’s breasts. She relaxes against him, silent, accepting his touch.)

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Uncle Peck — what are you doing?

PECK. Keep driving. (He slips his hands under her blouse.)

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. Uncle Peck — please don’t do this —

PECK. —Just a moment longer... (Peck tenses against Li’l Bit.)

TEENAGE GREEK CHORUS. (Trying not to cry.) This isn’t happening. (Peck tenses more, sharply. He buries his face in Li’l Bit’s neck, and moans softly.)

Related Characters: Uncle Peck (speaker), Teenage Greek Chorus (speaker), Li’l Bit
Related Symbols: Driving/Cars
Page Number: Book Page 57
Explanation and Analysis:
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Teenage Greek Chorus Character Timeline in How I Learned to Drive

The timeline below shows where the character Teenage Greek Chorus 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
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
The teenage Greek chorus then introduces an anecdote about Uncle Peck teaching cousin Bobby to fish. Peck plies Bobby... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
...of a conversation between the fourteen-years-old Li’l Bit, the female chorus playing her mother, and the teenage chorus playing her grandmother. (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...Don’t Give It to Them.” The young Li’l Bit isn’t sure what she’s referring too. The teenage chorus /grandmother explains how Li’l Bit’s grandfather has sex like “a big bull,” every morning and... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The female chorus/mother and the teenage chorus /grandmother debate the existence of orgasms, with the latter insisting she’s never had one and... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...tells her that sex hurts the first time, and that “there’s a little blood.” Grandmother/ the teenage chorus , terrified, says, “it’s agony! You think you’re going to die! Especially if you do... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...mother wanting to give Li’l Bit the information that her own mother failed to do. The teenage chorus /grandmother shouts that, “if she [Li’l Bit] stops and thinks before she takes her knickers... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The argument intensifies, revealing that female chorus/mother resents the teenage chorus /grandmother for not telling her more about sex. If she had known more about “the... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...what he’s allergic to. Jerome grabs her breast, and to much laughter says, “foam rubber.” The teenage chorus tells the angry Li’l Bit that “rage is not attractive in a girl.” (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
The next high school vignette takes place in the gym showers. The female chorus and teenage chorus trick Li’l Bit into showering first. They are amazed to see that her breasts are... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...she is well under age. For this scene only, Li’l Bit’s lines are spoken by the teenage chorus , though the actions remain hers. (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...her breasts. She asks him to stop; Uncle Peck clenches. As a tearful Li’l Bit/ the teenage chorus says, “this isn’t happening,” Peck “moans softly.” (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Peck and the teenage chorus fade away. Li’l Bit steps out of the car as the off-stage voice announces: “Driving... (full context)
Family and Abuse Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Sexuality Theme Icon
...on the dashboard—the radio.” As she tries to find the station, the female, male, and teenage choruses speak back lines from earlier in the play, e.g. “How is Shakespeare gonna help her... (full context)