In America - Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 9 Summary

The final chapter is a drunken soliloquy by Edwin Booth, as he and Maryna complete their first production of The Merchant of Venice. Booth ruminates about his career and the theatre, his brother John (President Lincoln's assassin), and the American and European theater. Edwin is at times abusive toward Maryna as he ridicules her accent and tells her that Europeans do not have a monopoly on tragedy, or Americans on "callow optimism" according to prevailing stereotypes. He reveals that his brother Johnny was to be the great Booth heir to his father, who encouraged his son Edwin to become a cabinetmaker. Booth speaks lovingly and sadly of his brother, the most talented actor of his family.

From his narrative, it is clear that his father, too, was an erratic drunkard and that his brother long planned the murder of Lincoln. "To kill a...

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This section contains 406 words
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Buy the In America Study Guide
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