The Prisoner of Second Avenue Essay

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Perkins is a professor of twentieth-century American and British literature and film. In the following essay, she examines the play's theme of urban survival.

Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue is set in Manhattan during the early 1970s, a time of great turmoil for New York City as it struggled to deal with a fiscal crisis, high crime rates, and population loss. In his article, “The Ominous Apple,” Peter Tietzman notes that the play was a response to Simon's negative view of the city during that period. As quoted by Tietzman, Simon claims: “people were so alienated and so fearful that they were separating themselves from contact. And not without cause.” The play is his “statement about those urban ills” as well as his exploration of how the system's failures can cause an erosion of humanity as each individual's primary motive becomes survival.

When the play...

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This section contains 1,233 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Prisoner of Second Avenue Study Guide
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