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Introduction & Overview of Men in White

Sidney Kingsley
This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Men in White.
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Men in White Summary & Study Guide Description

Men in White Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Men in White by Sidney Kingsley.

Men in White, originally presented by the Group Theatre in New York in 1933, was Sidney Kingsley's first play. The drama focuses on the personal sacrifices required by the medical profession. The main theme of the play is summed up in one of the doctor's final utterances: "It's not easy for any of us. But in the end our reward is something richer than simply living. Maybe it's a kind of success that world out there can't measure . . . maybe it's a kind of glory."

Men in White grew out of Kingsley's longstanding interest in the medical field. As he explained more than fifty years later in Sidney Kingsley, Five Prizewinning Plays, "I worked and spent an enormous amount of time in the hospitals of New York and was so impressed with the study of the history of medicine and the achievements made in the previous decade." Kingsley witnessed firsthand those doctors he applauded in his dedication, "the men in medicine who dedicate themselves, with quiet heroism, to man." Kingsley's diligent research paid off in his writing; theatergoers, critics, and the medical community alike responded favorably to the realism and idealism that forms the backbone of Men in White.

The play also started Kingsley's tradition of dealing with significant social issues—issues that many other writers were unwilling to explore or even raise. A pivotal plot twist in which a young woman dies of a botched abortion gave Kingsley the opportunity to speak out in support of legalized abortion, a practice that was not adopted in the United States until 1973. As Nena Couch points out in her introduction to Sidney Kingsley, Five Prizewinning Plays, "In Men in White Kingsley did what was clearly characteristic of him and what has marked his long career—to present on the stage a major human concern boldly and without apology or disguise."

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This section contains 308 words
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Drama for Students
Men in White from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.