The America Play, and Other Works Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the central premise of the essay "Possession"? What play was inspired by a dream?

This essay begins with a definition of possession, "the holding or having of something of one's own." The author refers to a half-waking dream she had of a phrase ("this is the death of the last negro man in the whole entire world") that became the title of a play. She also discusses her process of writing and why she writes, referring specifically to the theatre.

2. What does Parks relate about the contemporary theatre in "Elements of Style"?

In this collection of mini-essays, the author offers impressions of contemporary theatre and suggests that every playwright begin by asking why a story needs to be expressed in the form of a play. Parks also comments that form defines content and vice versa, using her own identity as an illustration

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