'Night, Mother

( 6 )

Overview

The scene is the living room/kitchen of a small house on an isolated country road, which is shared by Jessie and her mother. Jessie's father is dead; her loveless marriage ended in divorce; her absent son is a petty thief and ne'er-do-well; her last job didn't work out and, in general, her life is stale and unprofitable. As the play begins Jessie asks for her father's service revolver and calmly announces that she intends to kill herself. At first her mother refuses to take her seriously, but as Jessie sets about...
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Overview

The scene is the living room/kitchen of a small house on an isolated country road, which is shared by Jessie and her mother. Jessie's father is dead; her loveless marriage ended in divorce; her absent son is a petty thief and ne'er-do-well; her last job didn't work out and, in general, her life is stale and unprofitable. As the play begins Jessie asks for her father's service revolver and calmly announces that she intends to kill herself. At first her mother refuses to take her seriously, but as Jessie sets about tidying the house and making lists of things to be looked after, her sense of desperate helplessness begins to build. In the end, with the inexorability of genuine tragedy, she can only stand by, stunned and unbelieving, as Jessie quietly closes and locks her bedroom door and ends her profound unhappiness in one fatal, stunning and deeply disturbing moment—a moment never to be forgotten by those who have witnessed, and come to understand, her plight.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning play. "...Miss Norman...takes two barren lives and...serves them up in a dramatic format that seems as inexorable as classic tradgedy."New York Times

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Editorial Reviews

New England Entertainment Digest
It is sparse and concise, introspective and penetrating, powerful and uncompromising, intense and intelligent, warm and theatrical. It is THE American tragedy.
NY Magazine
...honest, uncompromising, lucid, penetrating, well-written, dramatic, and...unmanipulatively moving...
NY Times
...a shattering evening...
Village Voice
Something I hadn't seen in a long time happened at 'NIGHT, MOTHER: The audience still sat applauding after the house lights came up, as if waiting for the cast to come round and join them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822208211
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1983
  • Pages: 67
  • Sales rank: 816,364
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 27, 2011

    Heartfelt

    This play isn't one for a light afternoon. It is beautiful, sad and humorous at turns, and it is heart-breakingly honest. The story of a relationship between mother and adult child, it speaks to that disconnect in communication so common with parents and children. In the end, which is sad but expected, it shows that we must each create our own freedom.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2007

    amazing

    the most powerful play i've ever read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2006

    Courage on stage, afterall

    Suicide is a private affair. It is not a thing one tells out or shares with the near and dear ones at all. But it is a reality afterall.Miss Cates does this. Though this is against the tradition, it is a bold step towards reality. It is commendable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2006

    WONDERFUL PLAY

    This play was by far the best play I have ever read. Marsha Norman is an outstanding writer. The character Jessie Cates is the best character ever invented.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2005

    I couldn't put it down!

    This play was much better than I had originally anticipated, it had only one long scene, and two easy to follow characters. It spoke frankly of mental illnesses and suicide and after reading it (it was also quite short at only 90 pages) I completely understand why it won the Pulitzer Prize.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    Very nice

    It was a good sad book. She should have had the relationship with her mother that she wanted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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