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Street Scene Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

Mantel is a freelance writer and editor based near Boston. In the following essay, Mantel contends that Rice's realistic play contains not-soobvious expressionistic elements.

Elmer Rice's success and most-remembered works peaked during the second decade of the twentieth century. John Gassner claims in Twenty-Five Best Plays of the Modern American Theatre, "So far as the theatre is concerned, the American century was born in 1919." American theater addressed the social conditions of the times via two main influences in dramatic style.

One influence arose out of the break from the idyllic and romantic plays of the late nineteenth century, with their moralizing and their admonitions of the less than morally pure audiences, to the desire to present the world in an authentic way. This style was known as realism. The second influence was the introduction, primarily through German plays, of the then-European technique called expressionism. Expressionism went beyond mere...

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This section contains 3,849 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Street Scene Study Guide
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Street Scene from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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