Reunion Essay

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O'Sullivan is a writer of fiction, feature articles, and criticism. In this essay, O'Sullivan considers the economy of language and indirection in Mamet's play.

Reunion is the story of a father and daughter coming together after a separation of many years. It is a quiet play, using Mamet's trademark terse, cryptic dialogue; yet there is a degree of melancholy that distinguishes it from the playwright's other, more noisy work. The play demonstrates how language can mark the distance between two people as well as draw them together and manages to convey a sense of festering bitterness, betrayal, and recrimination without ever addressing them head on. Silences are as pregnant with meaning as the verbal exchanges. Like the plays of the British playwright Harold Pinter, to whom he is most often compared, Mamet's plays often proceed in the form of "dramatized conversation." This conversational tone, often constituting superficial or...

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This section contains 1,764 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Reunion Study Guide
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