No Way Out: Violence in Selected American Expressionist Plays
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This thesis discusses the American expressionist plays of the 1920s and the acts of violence that occur in several of them. The expressionist plays of Eugene O’Neill, Elmer Rice, Sophie Treadwell, and Susan Glaspell all feature some type of violent death. These types of violence can be seen in German expressionist plays, as well as in proto-expressionist plays. The acts of violence are a recurring motif of expressionism, and their importance cannot be ignored. This thesis seeks to analyze the text and the settings of the plays, and how they relate to expressionism. The violence in each play is explored, and is traced back to the origins of expressionism, particularly World War I. It is concluded that violent actions are an important motif to expressionism, and these acts should be acknowledged as a characteristic of the form.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Eugene O'Neill -- Elmer Rice -- Sophie Treadwell -- Susan Glaspell -- Connections and conclusions