Eugène Ionesco Writing Styles in Rhinoceros, and Other Plays

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Point of View

All three of the plays included in this collection make strong arguments against totalitarian forms of government. Indeed, these arguments are not a mere subtext of the plots, but really constitute the essences of each play. In "Rhinoceros," the pandemic which transforms people into rhinoceroses symbolizes the spread of totalitarian political philosophies like communism and fascism. These philosophies deny the reality of any kind of moral law and replace it with brute force; in other words, they turn man into a mighty, but irrational beast, like the rhinoceros. The philosophies, which focus so heavily on collectivism, also destroy man's individual identity, depicted by Berenger's inability to distinguish one rhinoceros from another.

In "The Leader," Ionesco satirizes the cult of personality which often develops around dictators. The people wait anxiously to see their leader do even the most mundane activities, like eat breakfast. One of the admirers...

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This section contains 1,129 words
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Buy the Rhinoceros, and Other Plays Study Guide
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