The Iceman Cometh Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What is the story about?

The drunken and happily deluded peace of a group of regulars at a low-end bar is interrupted by the irregular behavior of a regular visitor, who pushes them to change the way they look at themselves and the world. The story of their painful, aborted attempts to change themselves makes thematic points about the nature of dreams, the power of false illusions, and the difficulties of life without them.

2. How does the play begin?

As the play begins, it's another routine night for the regulars at Harry Hope's saloon and bar. Larry, Hugo, Wetjoen, Jimmy, Lewis, Joe, McGloin, Mosher, Willie, and Harry Hope have all had too much to drink and are close to passing out.

3. What is Larry's comment when Rocky tells him the locals all promise to pay their tabs tomorrow?

Larry cynically comments on how they all have a touching faith in tomorrow, even though the truth of what they're facing and what tomorrow will probably be is nothing like what they believe it will be. "As the history of the world proves," he says, "the truth has no bearing on anything."

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