The Shrike Essay

Joseph Kramm
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Perkins is an instructor of twentieth-century literature and film. In this essay, Perkins examines the theme of repression and conformity in Kramm's play.

Published in 1958, John Kenneth Galbraith's book The Affluent Society chronicles the political, cultural, and social transformations that occurred in America in the 1950s, characterizing the period as a time of unprecedented affluence. Galbraith notes that in this "age of plenty" Americans enjoyed a higher standard of living as the American economy prospered. Tensions, however, boiled beneath the successful surface of American suburbia. Galbraith noted that the rapid changes Americans were experiencing often left them confused and anxious. As a result of their eagerness to fit into the emerging community of the middle class, Americans allowed themselves to be coerced by political and religious figures to conform to social dictates instead of maintaining individual values and beliefs.

Another impetus for conformity emerged during the cold war...

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This section contains 1,434 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Shrike Study Guide
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The Shrike from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.