Women Criticism

Charles Bukowski and Clare Boothe Luce
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From its initial production in 1936 to its revivals in the 1970s and 1990s, The Women has always received mixed, sometimes heated, reviews.

Luce's play has been most enthusiastically received when regarded as a hilarious social satire featuring outrageous caricatures of high society women who reel out witty, acerbic dialogue. During the 1930s, however, The Women was not without controversy. Scheduled productions in London and Providence, Rhode Island, were canceled by authorities on grounds of immorality. In her essay "Social Darwinism in the Powder Room," Mary Maddock characterized these efforts to censor The Women when she commented, "The play's unvarnished presentation of the female perspective on sex, birth, extramarital affairs, divorce, and dull husbands clearly offended a certain sector of its audience."

However, the most substantial critical debate about The Women concerns Luce's representation of women and female friendship. Anita Gates, in "What Is It About The Women?" noted...

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This section contains 636 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Women Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Women from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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