The Miss Firecracker Contest Essay

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Kerschen is a freelance writer and adjunct college English instructor. In this essay, Kerschen shows how Henley uses each character and bizarre anecdotes to create both the comedy and the message in this play.

A constant litany of the bizarre runs through Henley's dialogue. Her plays are sometimes called tragicomedies, or black comedies, because the humor is achieved through eccentric characters who have experienced strange incidents in their lives. These incidents, often involving violence and death, are sprinkled throughout the play for their comedic effect and for what they reveal about the characters. Some critics find this technique to be too much, but others appreciate the creativity and enjoy the anecdotes that range from the merely unusual to the outright ludicrous. Nothing is anywhere near normal for Henley's characters: Carnelle has dyed her hair bright red, Delmount can wiggle his ears, Popeye has bulging eyes, Mac Sam is...

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This section contains 1,700 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Miss Firecracker Contest Study Guide
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The Miss Firecracker Contest from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.