The Memorandum Essay

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In the following essay, Baranczak discusses the various character techniques used throughout The Memorandum.

"SIX ONE-ACT PLAYS BY SIX WORLD LEADERS " was what a recent New Yorker cartoon envisaged as a canopy advertisement above the door to an off-Broadway theater. The wit is in the arithmetic. The number six suspends the joke precisely between the actual state of affairs and the realm of the improbable. Had the sign said, "TWO ONE-ACT PLAYS BY TWO WORLD LEADERS," we would not laugh, because the estimate would be too realistic. Had it said "TEN ONE-ACT PLAYS BY TEN WORLD LEADERS," we would not laugh, because the estimate would be too fantastic. But six, why not?

Not long ago, there was just one world leader whose resume included a few plays actually written by him and performed on stage (though their production anywhere near Broadway seems a rather remote possibility). Now there...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 5,489 words
(approx. 14 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Memorandum Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Memorandum from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.