August Wilson Writing Styles in Two Trains Running

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Unity of Place

Although Two Trains Running focuses on the changing circumstances of an entire community and describes large-scale events, such as rallies and funerals, the entire play takes place inside a small restaurant. Wilson thus follows a dramatic convention called the unity of place, a term invented to describe the tendency in ancient Greek drama for all of the action to occur in a single location.

One function of this formal choice is to achieve a sense of realism, since the audience does not have to imagine being transported for a change of scene. Wilson provides a full and sharp view of Memphis's restaurant, allowing the audience to experience a large range of emotion within a place that they begin to know well. The playwright establishes a kind of window on the world that he wishes to describe, one that can be both private and social. The restaurant...

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This section contains 304 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Two Trains Running Study Guide
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