Idiot's Delight Essay

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Kelly is an adjunct professor of English at the College of Lake County and Oakton Community College in Illinois. In this essay, Kelly examines how the two American characters in Idiot's Delight can be used to understand Robert Sherwood's pacifist ideals.

Robert Sherwood's play Idiot's Delight, set at the brink of an imagined world war, features characters from all over the Western world, representing an array of perspectives. They tend toward stereotype, but Sherwood usually manages to humanize each role. The German doctor, Waldersee, is a good example: stern and nationalistic, he originally bucks the tired generalization during Hitler's reign that Germans were soulless barbarians, with his hope to improve the world by defeating cancer. By the end, though, under the pressure of the war, he becomes the barbarian stereotype and returns to his homeland to produce nerve gas instead. Mr. and Mrs. Cherry are as gung-ho about...

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This section contains 1,629 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Idiot's Delight Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Idiot's Delight from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.