The Insect Play Essay

Josef Čapek
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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture, specializing in film studies, from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in the history of American cinema. In the following essay, Brent discusses the allegorical meaning of the play.

In The Insect Play, insect society, so to speak, is represented as an allegory for human society. In particular, in Act II, Capek and Capek address their concerns with the economic struggles of, and competition between, humans through their characterization of different species of insects. Thus, the dung beetles represent the working class, the Ichneumon Fly seems to represent the entrepreneurial, or petit-bourgeoisie, middle class, and the butterflies represent the upper classes, or bourgeoisie. The play presents a highly cynical perspective on the workings of human society, made up of lives characterized by meaningless existence, greed, and hard work in the name of family.

The...

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This section contains 2,480 words
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Buy The Insect Play Study Guide
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The Insect Play from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.