Short Essay Questions Key
1. What is the setting for Act 1, Scene 1 of MEN IN WHITE?
In the library of a large urban hospital several doctors and interns study, relax, and talk amongst themselves.
2. Describe the atmosphere in the play in Act 1, Scene 1.
Atmosphere is a key component of this play. Scenes are constantly punctuated with calls on the public address system, stage directions call for constant activity in the hallways, and there is a sense that conversations are conducted with speed, urgency, and terse clarity. There is also a great deal of authentic-sounding medical terminology.
3. How does the author foreshadow the role of the doctors and their spouses in the opening scene of the play?
In the middle of this hum of activity several key story elements are foreshadowed. Most important of these is the relationship between doctors and their spouses introduced in the conversation between Gordon and Hochberg and developed in the conversation between Hochberg, Levine, and Ferguson and expanded upon by what Ferguson says about Laura. Specifically, Ferguson's concerns about how Laura will react to his canceling their plans foreshadows the concerns that arise for both of them when it becomes clear just how much focus medicine is going to take in Ferguson's life. It is this relationship that is the central relationship of the play both dramatically and thematically.
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