The Petrified Forest Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Petrified Forest.
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Social Order

The Petrified Forest raises questions about the prevailing social order from the moment the curtain rises. The first person to talk is a Communist sympathizer, and his first line is, "Certainly it's Revolution!" This character explains what he thinks about capitalism and its flaws. Throughout the course of the play, readers can see that Robert Sherwood is not endorsing communism. He does, however, recognize that there is something wrong with the existing social order, and so he is open-minded about different ideas about how society should run.

The current social order is represented in the play by Jason Maple, who wears an ornate uniform to his American Legion meeting and opposes things that he finds un-American. Jason's own father mocks his uniform and points out that he was not even involved in active fighting while he was in the service, which shows Jason's patriotic fervor to be...

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This section contains 1,297 words
(approx. 4 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.