Objective: When the curtain opens on Act 1, the setting is dominated by Larry's fallen tree. This tree is a symbol of the enduring presence of the long-absent Larry on the lives of the Kellers and the Deevers. The objective of this lesson is to examine the use of symbols in dramatic works.
1. For class discussion: What does the tree represent, to the audience and to the Keller family? How does its falling alter what it represents to the family?
2. Divide the class up into groups and have each write a short etymological explanation of a symbol commonly associated with death and grief (black clothing, tombstone, veil). How did these symbols come to manifest the idea of loss of life.
3. For homework: Choose a symbol commonly associated with an abstract concept (a particular national flag, a red ribbon, a burning cross). Write a short essay explaining the connotations...
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