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Curse of the Starving Class Essay | Critical Essay #7

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Critical Essay #7

Shepard depicts two basic themes critical to family therapy—marital disintegration and parental ineffectiveness. The marital relationship portrayed in Curse is minimally existent, and at best is characterized by hostile undermining. There is no sense of marital sanctity—children and con men are invited by each marital partner to conspire against the other. The parents are almost never on stage together in a conscious state, and the only time siblings unite is in joint escape fantasies. The parents' lack of communication affects the whole family. It appears that characters are often unaware of what the other is saying because they rarely comment on what has been said. The breakdown of dialogue reflects in dramatic form the inability to sustain interpersonal relationships.

Yet, a closer look reveals Shepard's perception and instinct about marriage. The spouses do communicate with each other, only they send messages through their children...

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This section contains 313 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Curse of the Starving Class Study Guide
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Curse of the Starving Class 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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