Robert E. Sherwood Writing Styles in The Petrified Forest

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The Petrified Forest uses an age-old dramatic convention which takes a set of diverse characters and creates some reason why they have to remain together in some confined space, in order to keep the actors on stage together throughout the performance. Plays have used such conventional devices as a social gathering, such as a wedding, birthday party, or poker game; or a closed method of transportation, such as a lifeboat or elevator. In Robert Sherwood's next play, Idiot's Delight (1936), travelers are forced to remain in a hotel in Europe when bombs start dropping at the start of World War II. In his play Key Largo (1939), a Florida hurricane makes it impossible for anyone to leave the premises of a hotel. (Another reason they are unable to leave is that, as in The Petrified Forest, the hotel staff and guests are being held by gangsters who are waiting to...

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This section contains 850 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Petrified Forest Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Petrified Forest from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.