This Is Our Youth Short Essay - Answer Key

Kenneth Lonergan
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. In the first act of "This Is Our Youth," how do Dennis Ziegler and Warren Straub defy stereotype in terms of their lifestyle and background?

Dennis and Warren both come from affluent backgrounds, and they defy stereotype by eschewing their privilege for a lifestyle of dealing drugs.

2. Where and when does the play take place, and how is it significant?

The play is set in 1982 in Manhattan's affluent Upper West Side on a cold night in March. The play's meaning is deepened by the historical relevance of eighties culture of materialistic excess and the political turmoil of Reagan's presidency.

3. What is the nature of Dennis and Warren's friendship?

The friendship is based on an unequal dynamic between the two men. Dennis bullies Warren; nevertheless, Warren looks up to Dennis.

4. How are Dennis and Warren's ages significant?

Dennis is twenty-one and Warren is nineteen, which accounts for a part of Dennis's picking on Warren. They are also embarking on their young adult lives, yet they are not in school or employed.

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