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Arsenic and Old Lace Themes

Joseph Kesselring
This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Arsenic and Old Lace.
This section contains 804 words
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Themes

Charity

The theme of charity is satirized in the play. The Brewster sisters appear to be quite altruistic, providing help when needed for their neighbors as well as opening their door to strangers. They make soup for the sick, serve tea and cakes for the preacher and police officers, collect toys for needy children, and provide lodging for lonely old men. They must be the right kind of men though. The sisters have their own rules about how far their charity will extend.

They do not, for example, want to think about the devastation of the war in Europe, which to them has become inconvenient because it may cause them to use "that imitation flour again" as did the first world war. Also, the war involves foreigners, who are not acceptable to the sisters. They prefer "good" American Christians, more specifically Episcopalians. Methodists like Mr. Hoskins are welcomed into...

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This section contains 804 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Arsenic and Old Lace Study Guide
Copyrights
Arsenic and Old Lace from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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