The Cocktail Party Themes

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In act 2, Edward seeks psychiatric help because, as he explains, "I have ceased to believe in my own personality" Sir Henry answers this with the observation that it is a "very common malady. Very prevalent indeed." The entire play traces the course of how three people-Edward, Lavinia, and Cella-find that the personalities that they had believed in fall short of the world's requirements. It is significant that the first time Edward opens up to anyone and talks about the reality of his marriage is when he is left alone with a character whom he does not know, named "Unidentified Guest" by the playwright. To the stranger, Edward admits his uncertainty about a life without Lavinia, and when the stranger offers to bring her back, he accepts, despite the fact that he had previously felt she was forcing him into a life of falsehood. When she does...

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This section contains 1,146 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.