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ERIC Number: ED103890
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Rhetoric of American Popular Drama: The Comedies of Neil Simon.
McMahon, Helen
This paper discusses generally Neil Simon's plays; specifically examines "God's Favorite,""Plaza Suite,""Barefoot in The Park,""Star Spangled Girl,""Come Blow Your Horn," and "Last of the Red Hot Lovers"; and quotes reviews of the plays. An examination of the composition of the plays reveals that they all more or less share certain topics and plot structure, have a veneer of topicality, and are supported by gags, jokes, and absurd behavior. Variations on the themes of unobtainable vain fantasies are played out; the plays all end in the marriage bed, however devious and deceitful the way has been. The vagaries of sex and guilt, inadequacy and machismo are all circumscribed and made manageable. It is concluded that Simon's plays are technically unsatisfying because he uses a disjointed tragicomic story line with an enormous number of realistic and cliche details and gags to distract from the disjointed story. His exploitation of the familiar prevents exploration of the serious or the comic. And, for the same reasons, the plays are thematically unsatisfying as well. (TS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A