Golden Boy Criticism

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Odets's earliest politically charged plays like Waiting for Lefty (1935) and Awake and Sing! (1935), performed by the now famous Group Theatre, propelled Odets to overnight stardom. These two plays were well received by most critics for the gritty portrayal of what life was like for Americans during the Great Depression. In fact, many critics had high hopes for Odets's career as a social playwright.

Golden Boy signaled the start of the next phase of Odets's career, where he wrote plays that focused less on social criticism and more on psychology and personal relationships. Michael J. Mendelsohn, in his 1969 book, Clifford Odets: Humane Dramatist, notes this change, stating that: "In thus directing attention toward his central character, Odets considerably narrows his earlier focus." Golden Boy received mixed reviews from the critics when it debuted on Broadway in 1937. In his 1937 review in the Nation, critic Joseph Wood Krutch notes that: "There...

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This section contains 806 words
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Buy the Golden Boy Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Golden Boy from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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