A Thousand Clowns Essay

Herb Gardner
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Bily teaches literature and writing at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan. In this essay, Bily examines Gardner's play as a lesson in integration and compromise.

In one of the most important speeches in A Thousand Clowns, Murray explains to Sandra Markowitz that it is a grand thing to not quite know who one is.

It's just that there's all these Sandras running around who you never met before, and it's confusing at first, fantastic, like a Chinese fire drill. But god damn, isn't it great to find out how many Sandras there are? Like those little cars in the circus, this tiny red car comes out and putters around, suddenly its doors open and out come a thousand clowns, whooping and hollering and raising hell.

What Murray wants Sandra to understand is that she does not have to limit herself to one image of herself, that she is...

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This section contains 1,916 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Thousand Clowns Study Guide
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Drama for Students
A Thousand Clowns from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.