The Desperate Hours Essay

Joseph Hayes
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Covintree is a graduate student and expository writing instructor in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing department at Emerson College. In this essay, she examines the idea of safety within the nuclear family as shown in Hayes's suspenseful drama.

In The Desperate Hours, the Hilliards have neither a fallout shelter nor a machine gun in their home, but they do have a loaded gun that is kept in the parents' bedroom. This gun is a critical prop. It becomes the second gun for the convicts, the weapon used to murder the garbage man, and the object that leads the police to the criminals. Dan Hilliard hides the fact that he owns this gun from his son, Ralphie. When Glenn asks if there is a gun in the house, the audience knows the criminals already possess it. Still, it is Ralphie who says "no . . . we don't." As the stage direction...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 1,446 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Desperate Hours Study Guide
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The Desperate Hours from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.