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Private Lives Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Private Lives.
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Throughout the 1920s, and particularly during the Great Depression of the 1930s, many of the most popular plays and films were light comedies set among the wealthy, privileged members of "high society." When such works are associated with the Depression, their appeal is usually ascribed to the audience's need for escape from their grim circumstances, if only briefly, and only in imagination: they offered glamorous fantasies of unimaginable luxury, to audiences who were straggling to secure the bare necessities. Given its upper-class setting and its appearance in the year after the 1929 New York stock market crash, Private Lives might appear to be such a work of Depression-era "escapism." Yet when the play was written, the full and lasting effects of the economic crisis were not yet widely recognized, either in Europe or America. While it may be classed as light entertainment, intended more for diversion than enlightenment, Private...

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This section contains 953 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Private Lives Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Private Lives from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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