This quantity addresses the paintings of girls playwrights during the background of the yankee theater, from the early pioneers to modern feminists. every one bankruptcy introduces the reader to the paintings of 1 or extra playwrights, protecting major writers resembling Rachel Crothers, Susan Glaspell, Lillian Hellman, Sophie Treadwell, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Megan Terry, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, Wendy Wasserstein, Marsha Norman, Beth Henley and Maria Irene Fornes, within the context of issues similar to early comedy and melodrama, feminism and realism, the Harlem Renaissance and feminism.
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Additional info for The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Probably Margaret’s paintings to “abolish” this way of family slavery isn't so diverse from Frank’s paintings with “fallen” East facet girls in spite of everything, due to the fact Margaret perspectives marriage in accordance with monetary dependence as simply one other kind of prostitution (91). construction groups of girls for his or her mutual aid is therefore vital to either Frank and Margaret. Frank defends her rooming-house association opposed to a detractor as “rather reliable for me . . . the home is stuffed with self sufficient girls who're making their very own dwelling” (Man’s global, 24); she additionally studies nice pride in her reform paintings with negative women. Margaret likewise is devoted to her “followers,” claiming that the pursuits of a kinfolk (were she to have one) wouldn't make her overlook “the different ladies, their helplessness and their wishes” (Flower store, 62). but either performs do an exceptional activity of depicting the diversities one of the different girls each one self reliant protagonist encounters. What Doris Abramson has famous a few Man’s international is correct of either performs: now not the entire ladies characters are on the similar point of emancipation, so the plays illustrate a second of historic transition (“Rachel Crothers,” 61). each one lady personality has to make judgements among new freedoms and previous customs and prejudices. In A Man’s international, this transitional second for girls is likely to be top mirrored within the personality of Clara, an aspiring miniaturist from a prosperous relations who (as one of many different artists describes her) could “like to tiptoe via bohemia, yet she’s scared of her petticoats” (17). whereas Clara admires every thing approximately Frank, from her self-sufficiency to her generosity and kindness, she herself is with no marketable abilities and feels “absolutely superfluous” (52). Complaining in regards to the double commonplace that relegates single girls to “old maid” prestige, Clara asserts: “If I have been a guy – the main insignificant little runt of a guy – i may convince a few girl to marry me – and will have a house and kids and hustle for a dwelling – and lifestyles could suggest anything” (53). yet Clara isn't the basically counterpoint to Frank. Lione, a singer, whereas extra self sustaining and in addition extra gifted than Clara, additionally rails concerning the unfair place of ladies who needs to depend upon males for monetary help and social place. Her reaction to the matter, despite the fact that, is a self-centered reputation of the established order. She tells Frank: “Men are pigs in fact. They take all they could get and don’t provide to any extent further than they must. It’s a man’s international – that’s the dimensions of it. What’s using knocking your head opposed to stuff you can’t swap? I by no means believed sooner than that you just quite intended all this supporting girls company. What’s the use? ” (57). regardless of those women’s changes from one another and from her, Frank responds to either one of them with sympathy and help. whereas Frank herself values autonomy and fosters sisterhood, she realizes that no longer all ladies may or can make the alternatives she has made. in accordance with Clara, who accuses her of believing “in ladies caring for themselves,” Frank asserts: “I think in girls doing what they’re best suited for.