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Donald Margulies Writing Styles in Dinner with Friends

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Flashback

Margulies begins his play in what he terms the present. Time progresses throughout the first act. In order to fill in background information, showing the play's characters in the light of first love, he then changes the time, moving backwards to twelve and one half years prior to the opening scene. The flashback scene also shows both couples together and gives more emotional weight to the consequences of Tom and Beth's divorce.

The flashback allows characters to act out their history rather than have the playwright squeeze details from the past into their current dialogues. A sense of depth is added to the characters as the audience witnesses the changes in the characters' lives rather than just hearing about them. This also brings the audience into the playas active, rather than passive, members. The playwright has the option of leaving spaces, unanswered questions, and silences in the dialogues...

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This section contains 565 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dinner with Friends Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Dinner with Friends from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.