Jerome Lawrence Writing Styles in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

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Expressionism

Expressionism was a movement that was popular in drama and other, mainly visual, arts, beginning in Germany in the 1910s. Expressionism has never been completely defined in concrete terms, which is oddly fitting, since the main characteristic of expressionistic works is their tendency to bend concrete reality—to express emotions and ideas. In the case of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Lawrence and Lee bend reality by staging their drama in a shifting landscape, where the main characters, especially Henry, move instantly and dream-like through time and space. The resulting dream-like episodes cause the audience to become somewhat disoriented. Ultimately, these feelings express the playwrights' message—activism is not always easy, and can in fact be uncomfortable and unpredictable, just like the respective wars that were going on in Thoreau's time (the Mexican War) and in the 1970s (the Vietnam War).

Time and Space

As...

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