Lillian Hellman Writing Styles in The Children's Hour

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The Children's Hour employs two settings. The first, used in the opening and final acts, is the living and study room of the Wright-Dobie School for girls, located in a converted farmhouse about ten miles from Lancet, a rural town in Massachusetts. The second, used in both scenes of the second act, is the living room of Mrs. Tilford's house, presumably in the town of Lancet.

The setting plays a significant role in the play, for it posits a small-town attitude and closeness—a place where news travels fast—which is evident in the snickering of the grocery boy in the third act. The community ostracizes Karen and Martha, which helps create the oppressive atmosphere that makes Martha's suicide believable. Because the women are sensitive to their community's censure, they come to believe that their alleged behavior will follow them wherever they go, that they will...

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This section contains 972 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Children's Hour Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Children's Hour from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.