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The Children's Hour Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

Armato examines the concepts of good and evil as they pertain to the main characters of Hellman's play. Much as the playwright herself once asserted, the critic concludes that no character exemplifies outright good or evil but rather all possess measures of both.

Critics have often called The Children's Hour a melodrama. Those who have done so, see Karen Wright and Martha Dobie as "good" characters who are victimized by "evil" Mary Tilford To Barrett H. Clark and Brooks Atkinson, Mary Tilford is a "monster." Even Hellman's most perceptive critic calls her "the embodiment of pure evil." If The Children's Hour is the story of a "sweet little teacher done to death by ... [a] tyrannical child," then we must concur with Barrett Clark's reading of the play's ultimate meaning: "... here is evil .. . make the best of it."

With great patience. Lillian Hellman has defended her play against the...

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This section contains 2,582 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Children's Hour Study Guide
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The Children's Hour 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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