The Cocktail Party Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of composition and creative writing at two community colleges in Illinois and has often written for educational publications. In the following essay, he examines Eliot's technique in developing The Cocktail Party, and how it relates to the theme of alienation that has been prevalent in postmodern literature.

Denis Donoghue, writing about T. S. Eliot's popular play The Cocktail Party in his 1959 book The Third Voice, explained the play's structure as sort of a trap that "ensnares" its audiences. The play starts out looking like a reflection on light, silly comedies that had been popular and had in fact passed their prime by the time that Eliot was writing. As it progresses, however, Eliot leads his audience into darker psychological territory. Donoghue points out that the play's deceptive style is Eliot's way of dealing with the issue that was addressed by almost all serious twentieth-century...

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This section contains 1,764 words
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The Cocktail Party from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.