Albee is known for many different plays such as : Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Sandbox, The Zoo Story, and Seascape. He uses symbolism, portrayal of addiction, and storytelling through a play to support his argument. He shares an idea that the ideal American life is not as perfect as it may seem. While Thompson uses a narrative story to suggest that the American Dream is the freedom to live a capitalistic and reckless life filled with drugs and alcohol, Albee instead uses a play to suggest that it is to have a suburban life with the addition of satisfying desires and fantasies. In my essay, I will examine the rhetorical strategies and claims in both texts to show the differences in the ways they present the American
John Steinbeck 's novel Of Mice and Men is a famous Naturalist work in American literature. Various elements of Naturalism is exhibited in this novel through its character types and story plot. Charles Darwin, an English Naturalist proposed a theory called natural selection, meaning that nature selects the best adapted varieties to survive and reproduce. Darwin also identified this theory as survival of the fittest. Steinbeck incorporated this belief of natural selection in many instances throughout Of Mice and Men using characters and their circumstances. One character named Candy has an injury and is old in age. They were leading factors in his fear of being unemployed. His dog’s old age and uselessness also resulted in its death.
Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town, outlines the lives of two families realistically from 1901 to 1913. Multiple themes are presented through the lives of these families in three separate acts: “Daily Life”, “Love and Marriage”, and “Death and Eternity”. Although each act entails different commonly faced problems and themes, the play does not lack a central, universal theme. Each act contributes to a main theme about human life that, even after 81 years, is still relevant to society today. The main theme of the play, Our Town, is that human life is repetitive and temporary.
Stella Adler, famous actress and acting teacher once stated that “the theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.” Woyzeck by Georg Büchner is a play that perfectly represents Adler’s view on theatre. The plot of the play revolves around a troubled lower class man named Woyzeck, who ultimately murders his lover, Marie. But it is not merely the plot that makes this play align with Adler’s view, rather, it is the naturalistic style of the Woyzeck. Naturalistic theatre examines the human psyche and how one is influenced by nature and nurture. Through Büchner’s use of plot structure and thought, Woyzeck will be directed in a manner that makes the audience realize that human behavior is not simply a byproduct of nature versus nurture, that there is indeed a third option: self-will.
“The Open Boat” is a short story written by Steven Crane about four men stranded on a dinghy after their boat had sunk over night. The men were struggling to stay alive because it seemed as if they had no hope for survival. The four stranded shipmen were a correspondent, an oiler, a cook, and a captain. The theme of the story is that man has no control over his destinies and that nature controls everything. Naturalist themes prevail in Stephen Crane's “The Open Boat” as it demonstrates naturalist literature through the struggle that nature throws at the men. Naturalism arises throughout the men’s constant battle between their surrounding environment and keeping
Women are often perceived as mother figures who stand by their husbands no matter what type of situation they encounter. They are expected to give a perfect image to society and do not get the greater say. Eugene O 'Neill’s play, A Long Day’s Journey into the Night (1940), gives the reader a representation of a woman who is still influenced by these standard societal expectations. The character, Mary Tyrone, depends greatly of her husband and will not leave him even if she wanted to. In The Awakening (1899) by Kate Chopin, the reader is introduced to Edna Pontellier who is the complete opposite. She exposes the dissatisfaction that women feel and decides to act upon it. These two characters feel that they do not belong in the lifestyle they are given. They struggle with their identity due to their husbands’ lack of affection. As a result, marriage becomes a barrier to their happiness and individual fulfillment. The sense of displacement, marital dissatisfaction, and loss and gain of identity pushes both Mary and Edna to take major decisions in order to deal with their pain and desires.
The history of theatre in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries is one of the increasing commercialization of the art, accompanied by technological innovations, the introduction of serious critical review, expansion of the subject matters portrayed to include ordinary people, and an emphasis on more natural forms of acting. Theatre, which had been dominated by the church for centuries, and then by the tastes of monarchs for more than 200 years, became accessible to merchants, industrialists, and the less privileged and then the masses.
In the play, Mary is a beautiful woman and lives the life like any other girls of her time; but she is emotionally attached to her sons and her family when she marries into the Tyrone family. She is also getting old, so she keeps going on her days worrying about her change of appearance. She suffers from a morphine addiction and she is psychologically wounded because of her past. She tries many times to break free but she could not stop as she spends time with her family. She has gone through many struggles but she cannot move on with her life. She keeps looking back into the past; and she regrets marrying into the family because of the dreams she had to sacrifice such as becoming a nun or a concert pianist.
The whole entire Tyrone family is Naturalistic because they all are naturally animals. It’s animal like to ruin your whole family’s lives just because yours was ruined. This applies specifically to Jaime and James
Naturalism is a philosophy which emphasizes “the effect of heredity and environment on human nature and action” (Zhang) and incorporates realism to “suggest that social conditions… and environment [have] inescapable force in shaping human character” (Zhang). Furthermore, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Natural Philosophy explains that to Naturalists, “reality is exhausted by nature, containing nothing ‘supernatural’, and that the scientific method should be used to investigate all areas of reality” (Papineau). Naturalism (in literature) is an idea that suggests everything about humanity is measurable, detectable, manipulatable, and traceable to a cause, and therefore the characters of Naturalist literature would be illustrated as simply the products of their environments; vessels devoid of spiritual guidance or fate that are subject only to their environments. An example of a Naturalistic novel is The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton; a novel set in late 19th century New York that follows Lily Bart: a young woman who was born rich but is slowly losing both her societal status and her money whilst she repeatedly avoids marriage, her only option to escape her fate: a life of poverty. With this in mind, The House of Mirth is an exemplary example of a Naturalistic novel because of its portrayal of characters as the product of their environments.
"Satire and Romance, rather than dramatizing the dominant patterns of human experience, embody the essential qualities and potentialities of human nature. Romance bears witness to what humanity can be at its best, Satire to what it can be at its worst. Romance offers us an idealized vision of human potentiality, Satire a spectacle of inferior human conduct. Satire and romance are intended ultimately to produce clear-cut images of good or evil, virtue or vice, wisdom or folly; and those images may be embodied most vividly in characters that are boldly outlined rather than finely detailed. Such qualities may also be highlighted through contrast. Thus, the plots of satire and romance often bring together characters from both extremes, using their interactions to create emphatic contrasts. In defining the emphasis of any play, we can ask ourselves whether the dramatist has focused on the beautiful or the ugly, on the orderly or the chaotic, on what is best or on what is worst in the world. A play that emphasizes the beautiful and the orderly tends toward an idealized vision of the world, which is the mode we call 'romance'. A play focusing on the ugly and chaotic tends toward a debased view of the world, and this we call 'satire'. Both these emphasis depend for their effect upon extreme views of human nature and existence. In contrast to
The work of playwright Eugene O’Neil involves an honest and dark realism that takes the form of a tragedy in almost all of his work. It creates a universal appeal to his work with the collapse of his characters into misfortune through causes that lie within them, but unstoppable to do the outside forces of their world. It’s the idea that the world is bound by a fate, which is stronger than our own will. In his work Long Day’s Journey into Night Mary says, “ None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you an what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.” Mary exemplifies the very core of O’Neil’s work in this quote that the men and women of his world are victims of a cosmic trap, fated to them before they even knew. O’Neil’s work follows the attitude that Mary has presented in the fact that his characters are fated to fail, because in their failure is where dramatic realism is found.
The tragedy is part of many plays, and Long Day Journey into Night is no different. The author Eugene O’Neill captures this in his play published in 1956. A semi-autobiographical play the author focuses on a family of four, which is the Tyrone family, where their mother Mary is a morphine addict, while her son Edmund is suffering from tuberculosis. Many families try to hide and cover addictions as part of protecting their family name and image. In the play, “Long Day’s Journey into Night”, Eugene O’Neill exposes the Tyrone family as reluctant, bitter, and naive, all which correlate to the dysfunctional family that they are.
Stage directions play a huge part in both of these plays as well, specifically in how the stage directions affect dialogue. Naturalism was actually controversial when it was introduced due to long pauses and lulls in dialogue, which at the time were perceived as boring. Stage directions that call for long pauses are very common in Hedda Gabler and
In our lives, we are surrounded by moments of tragedy that drives our will to keep moving forward. Our daily lifestyles are no different from the famous stories that playwrights have written throughout history. Playwrights are masters at combining theatre elements of tragedy, religion, violence, and numerous relative elements that the audience embrace faithfully. Today, Greek and Roman influence is the main topic since they have inspired the famous plays Desire under the Elms and The Glass Menagerie.