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The Chairs Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Chairs.
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Critical Overview

When The Chairs debuted in Paris in 1952, many critics did not know what to make of the play. A few praised the production. Renee Saurel (quoted by Rosette C. Lament in her lonesco's Imperatives: The Politics of Culture) believes the play is "hauntingly beautiful and perfectly structured under its surface of incoherence."

Most critics were not as kind. Some regarded it as too strange. Others were just confused. A contemporary critic quoted in Ruby Cohn's From Desire to Godot: Pocket Theatre of Postwar Paris wrote, "Since the guests are represented by chairs, I didn't understand whether this was a symbol of the author, a dream of the Old Man or a financial economy."

Because of such reviews, audiences stayed away. Sometimes lonesco, his wife, and daughter were the only spectators in the theater. Still, he was pleased. Allan Lewis quotes the author as saying "If my failures continue...

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This section contains 603 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Chairs Study Guide
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The Chairs 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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