American literature

American literature - AMERICAN DRAMA FROM THE MID-TWENTIETH...

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Unformatted text preview: AMERICAN DRAMA FROM THE MID-TWENTIETH CENTURY PLAYWRIGHTS PLAYS PERFORMANCE 2 Types of drama in the 1930s and the 1940s Social satire - Philip Barry, George Kelly, Robert Sherwood Social realism - Lillian Hellman, Sidney Howard, Clifford Odets Verse Plays - Maxwell Anderson Expressionist plays - Elmer Rice Atmospheric fables - William Saroyan Metatheatrical plays - Thorton Wilder 3 Lillian Hellman 1905- 1984 Lillian Hellman in grays, because she saw herself as gray in spirit. Painted by Luis Quintanilla in 1943. 4 Lillian Hellmans Place Probably the most famous and possibly the most controversial American woman dramatist The first to be admitted to the all-male space of the canon of American drama Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Served as Vice President of the National Institute of Arts and Letters 5 Lillian Hellmans Work The basis of her success - two major hits from the 1930s: The Childrens Hour, 1934 The Little Foxes , 1939 The center of contention among feminist scholars 6 The Childrens Hour About two teachers at a girls boarding school accused of lesbianism A lie of a vicious child, it fuels a campaign of vilification and hatred that leads to the broken engagement of one of the teachers and the suicide of the other Shirley MacLaine as Martha, who was in love with Karen played by Audrey Hepburn in William Wylers adaptation from the 1961. 7 The Childrens Hour and Feminism 8 The Childrens Hour and Feminism Problematic for feminists today because the lesbian experience is described as socially disruptive, as unnatural, leading to the death of the abject sexual Other Often regarded as a profoundly conservative text whose adherence to realisms codes inscribes lesbianism as an enigma that must be purged Its canonization valorizes heterosexism and homophobia 9 The Childrens Hour Shows marks of the novice dramatist:- heavy plotting- direct conveying of messages and ideas Introduces several dominant themes: - exploration of societys fear of womens success and friendship- the issue of personal responsibility - the danger posed by the self-righteous good who act without considering the consequences of their deeds 10 The Little Foxes The story of a southern woman who rises to economic power and independence at the turn of the century over her two brothers and a husband As a result she suffers separation from her daughter and lives emotionally destitute 11 The Little Foxes Can a feminist perspective that interrogates narrowly inscribed gender roles and seeks to subvert patriarchal hegemony ever be compatible with traditional realism?...
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2011 for the course ENGR 4A taught by Professor S during the Spring '11 term at Cambridge.

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American literature - AMERICAN DRAMA FROM THE MID-TWENTIETH...

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