Absurdism Themes

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Absurdity

Absurdity is the most obvious theme explored in Absurdism. Absurdity characterizes a world that no longer makes sense to its inhabitants, in which rational decisions are impossible and all action is meaningless and futile. Absurdity also describes many situations and events that take place in plays associated with the movement, such as orators who speak in gibberish (The Chairs), a clock that strikes seventeen (The Bald Soprano), or a rhinoceros that walks across the stage (Rhinocéros).

Domination

Several well-known absurdist works feature pairs of characters in which one is dominant and the other the dominated. Some of these are quite literally master/servant relationships, such as in Genet's The Maids or Beckett's Endgame. Others reproduce the master/slave relationship within marriage, as in Albee's The American Dream where Mommy dominates the spineless Daddy character or within the traditional teacher/student dynamic, as in Ionesco's The Lesson.

Language

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This section contains 871 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Absurdism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.