Crimes of the Heart

What is the theme in Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley?

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Much like the playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd, Henley dramatizes a vision of a disordered universe in which characters are isolated from one another and are incapable of meaningful action. With the constant frustration of their dreams and hopes, Henley's characters could easily find their lives completely meaningless and absurd (and indeed, each of the MaGrath sisters has been on the brink of giving up entirely). At the end of Crimes of the Heart, at least, the sisters have found a kind of unity in the face of adversity. While Lenny's vision, "something about the three of us smiling and laughing together," in no way can resolve the many conflicts that have unfolded in the course of the play, it does endow their lives with a collective sense of hope, where before each had felt acutely the absurdity, and often the hopelessness, of life.