Suzan-Lori Parks Writing Styles in Topdog/Underdog

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Naturalism

Topdog/Underdog is less fantastic than some of Parks's other plays. Though the set design evokes social realism, the play is naturalistic in the sense that Lincoln and Booth respond to the environmental forces, such as poverty, that shape their lives externally, as well as to the private desires and ambitions that exert an equal, if not greater, force psychically. The brothers are subject to deterministic sociological and economic forces that lead them to contemplate a life of petty crime. Furthermore, Booth's frank discussions of his sexual needs indicates that strong biological instincts also inform his decisions. Fear and the need for escape, whether through drink or through sex, are other primal forces at work in the play. Though characters in naturalistic works of drama or fiction are occasionally viewed as victims of fate, Parks makes no moral judgments about her characters. She remains objective in the presentation...

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This section contains 1,348 words
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Buy the Topdog/Underdog Study Guide
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