American Plays Of The New Woman

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The battle of the sexes reached a near fever pitch in the early years of the twentieth century, in the debate over the "proper" role of women in a rapidly changing and increasingly industrialized society. The six plays that Keith Newlin has selected for this book nicely illustrate the conflicts of that time over such issues as the double standard, the advent of the "New Woman" and turn-of-the-century feminism, and the clash between a woman's career and conventional marriage. The plays are: William Vaughn Moody's The Great Divide (1906), Rachel Crothers's A Man's World (1910), Augustus Thomas's As a Man Thinks (1911), Alice Gerstenberg's Overtones (1913), Susan Glaspell's The Outside (1917), and the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Jesse Lynch Williams's Why Marry? (1917). Both commercial and experimental plays are represented here, including two one-acts, and ranging from symbolic drama to zesty comedy. The point, as Mr. Newlin notes in his introduction, is not to recover significant plays but to illustrate a vibrant social debate from both male and female perspectives, and to do so in a range of dramatic form.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Delightful...wonderful insights into the collective mentality of the liberation period.
Library Journal
This delightful collection of six plays written from 1906 to 1917 is gathered around the theme of women's liberation and rights. Four of the six, William Vaughn Moody's The Great Divide, Rachel Crother's A Man's World, Augustus Thomas's As a Man Thinks, and Jesse Lynch Williams's Why Marry?, were commercial theatrical products, while Alice Gerstenberg's Overtones and Susan Glaspell's The Outside were considered experimental and premiered in regional or little theaters. Newlin (American literature, Univ. of North Carolina, Wilmington) has edited The Collected Plays of Theodore Dreiser and Selected Letters of Hamlin Garland. While it is unlikely that the majority of these plays would be produced today, they provide wonderful insights into the collective mentality of the period. Recommended for women's studies as well as theater collections.--J. Sara Paulk, Coastal Plain Regional Lib., Tifton, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566632997
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Newlin teaches American literature at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. He has also edited The Collected Plays of Theodore Dreiser (with Frederic E. Rusch) and Selected Letters of Hamlin Garland (with Joseph B. McCullough), and has written Hardboiled Burlesque, a study of Raymond Chandler’s fiction.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Bibliography 33
A Note on the Texts 37
The Great Divide 39
A Man's World 86
As a Man Thinks 140
Overtones 207
The Outside 218
Why Marry? 227
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