The Kentucky Cycle Themes

Robert Schenkkan
This Study Guide consists of approximately 89 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Kentucky Cycle.
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Violence

Violence looms large in the text of The Kentucky Cycle. Every play contains physical and emotional violence, or the threat of that violence. Schenkkan wants to explore the role of violence in the shaping of American history. Michael Rowen murdered, stole, and raped his way to a family legacy. That legacy was continued with Patrick's violence, Jed's murdering the Talbert men, and finally the way the Blue Star Mining Company raped the earth and the lives of its workers. Violence becomes an inescapable part of American life in these plays, although Schenkkan suggests that when violence is used to protect the land, as when Joshua threatens to shoot James and Franklin, or for benefit of others, as was the case with the unionizing miners, it can be productive. However, in most respects, violence simply breeds more violence and revenge in an almost never-ending cycle.

The American Dream

The...

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This section contains 636 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Kentucky Cycle Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Kentucky Cycle from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.