Alison's House Essay

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Ullmann is a freelance writer and editor. In the following essay, she explores the function and characterization of the unseen, unheard Alison Stanhope, who is the focus of Glaspell's Alison's House.

Alison's House, by Susan Glaspell, is a play in which the central character never appears on stage. Alison Stanhope has been dead for eighteen years when the play begins. Her sister, her brother, and his children are breaking up the house they all grew up in, and in this process, they stir up memories that have laid in waiting, unfaded and powerful. The house itself belongs to Alison's brother, Mr. Stanhope, who is the patriarch of the family, but many of the house's contents give references to Alison, famous for her poetry and particularly dear to each of her family members who remember her with fierce affection. Alison lived as a near-recluse, but despite her hermitic...

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This section contains 1,522 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Alison's House Study Guide
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