Character Transformation Of Piper Chapman In Orange Is The New Black

After watching the first three seasons of Orange is the New Black. One character I felt underwent a major transformation is Piper Chapman. Chapman came from a well-educated family who were mostly lawyers, doctors and or teachers. In season one, Piper fill in as an intermediary for the US. She introduces them with new conditions and individuals and, all things considered, is proposed relatable. Piper stumbles through the start of her time at Litchfield, committing significant mistakes right and left and struggling to adjust to a place that is so different in relations to her native Park Slope. She had a habit of saying the wrong things at the wrong time in the first episode of the first season one, when she went on to talk about the food served in the cafeteria when sitting with Nicky, Lorna and Yoga Jones . She is the newbie that had made enemies with the Red who is the head chef, so she is made to starve out of food.

She was an innocent woman in the show that I felt raunchy for, she called Larry from the guard’s office crying to him stating “I am wearing granny panties and only have spoken to white people and how much she loves him.”, she tries to let him know what she has gotten herself into and that place isn’t for her. After Larry exposes the stories she has been telling him about the prison and the radio. She felt betrayed and started to distant herself from Larry. Feeling betrayed she starts to go back to the same person that landed her in the prison in the first place Alex Vague. She begins to get acclimated herself with the prison and started to become the very same thing she feared when she walked into the prison. After gaining some advice from Jefferson about Pennsatucky, while in the shower she felt it was time to stand up for herself in prison. So in the last episode of season one when approached by Pennsatucky with a cross sharpened at one end, she was forced to defend herself and fight back, she knocked her tooth out and beat her to a pulp. That was when we get to see Piper is taking charge of her own life and her values and morale starts to change. In season two, the change began to manifest in Piper’s life.

In season one she wants to make friends so she doesn’t feel all alone in jail, however when she returned from Chicago to testify in the trail of Alex’s drug boss Kubra, ¬In which Alex pushes her to lie while Alex tells the truth and gets released. So when return to the Litchfield on episode three, and Broke Soso wanted to be friends with he told her to find other people and she is not the one to befriend. Which is ironic because she was looking for a friend when she first arrived.

One indicator you can sense that Piper is about a transformation is when the CO’s were doing the count in the season two episode five, she was having a conservation with Red, and she said “I am not looking for sympathy, but yet I am trying to follow your lead actually, be strong and suffer in silence” on when her grandma was in the hospital and she was seeking for furlough.

Given 48 hours of freedom, albeit restricted by rules, Piper meets with Cal and Larry. At her grandmother's wake, Piper is so disturbed by the things she heard from her family's friends and her father, who, until then, has not visited her in prison. She tries to have sex with Larry in the bathroom until he tells her that he has slept with someone she knew. She believes she can’t trust anyone anymore due to the fact that Alex betrayed her and moreover Larry cheats on her with Piper’s best friend.

Toward the finish of Season 3, we see Piper grasp what little power she’s found on the within and latch onto a kind of agency it doesn’t appear she ever experienced in her life on the outside. Through flashbacks, you figured how Piper has taken the back seat in both her relationships with Alex and Larry, allowing them to make the majority of the relationship decisions. Her absence of confidence is palpable in even the most mundane activities. When she takes control and subsequently fails, the two of them treat her like a puppy endeavoring to execute an adorable trick. In Season 1, she proposed a “juice cleanse” to Larry, who hesitantly supports this endeavor. When she caves and eats their favorite pork rinds while he is starving, he playfully tells her he “won” because she was the first to give in on the cleanse. Alex treats Piper in a similar manner, prodding Piper’s naiveté when she’s panicking at the airport in Season One.

Everyone in Piper’s life treats her as a child, coddling her simple mistakes and believing she is adorable in the process. This leaves her with even fewer life skills to assist her acclimation to Litchfield. With her filthy prison panties business, you witness Piper in a position without precedent for her life. She is the driving force in a profiteering realm that gives her agency over a group of the other inmates. Be that as it may, Piper’s desire for power soon begins to devour her. When she is double crossed by her new prison paramour, she doesn’t hesitate to destroy her life by planting tons of contraband in her bunk and sending her to max days before her release. Gone are the halcyon long stretches of Piper attempting to remain on her best conduct and out of further implicating jail show. As Piper takes responsibility of this new power and her craving to toss it in the other prisoners’ faces, the compassion for her starts to diminish. Piper appears incapable of appreciating when she has is profitable.

Her value from doing the right thing, as in turning herself in to serve her fifteen months service for carrying a bag filled with money and drugs to France, to trying to end anyone who will come across her path. Like she did with Pennsatucky, when she tried to fight with her and the way she treated Soso when she wanted to befriend her. Also how when Stella stole her money she planted contraband which had her sent to the maximum security unit in retaliation the day before she was released. That affected her relationship with the majority of the inmates as it struck fear into them and also with Alex because she doesn’t what she has turned into. It goes to show that no matter how good you maybe when in prison, your demeanor will have to change so you can protect yourself. 

09 March 2021
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