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Both Your Houses Essay

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O'Sullivan writes for both film and stage. In this essay, O'Sullivan examines the tension between message and method in Maxwell Anderson's >Both Your Houses.

Maxwell Anderson's play Both Your Houses, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1933, is a hard-biting indictment of political corruption in the houses of congress. Leavening indignation with acerbic humor, it reveals the disillusionment of a high-minded but politically naive freshman congressman who arrives in Washington determined to clean things up. Although written more than seventy years ago, the play retains a certain currency; graft and pork barrel spending are as present today as they were then, and the reformist impulse seems to be renewed during each election cycle.

Prior to beginning his long career as a playwright, Anderson worked as a teacher and journalist. He was no doubt well acquainted, through his journalism, with the culture of corruption in our nation's capital. It is...

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This section contains 2,342 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Both Your Houses Study Guide
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Both Your Houses from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.