20th Century American Family Drama: An Exploration of Image of Loss

Document Type : Original Article




The purpose of this study is to explore the image of loss in modern American drama in the theme of family. The image of loss prevails the post-war era of American drama in three levels of psychological, physical, and moral space. This image is clearly observable in two of the prominent works of the era, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Moreover, this image of loss is closely connected with the notion of time. The familial breakdown appears as a sustaining motif that plays a central role in the psychologically shattered personality of the major characters, as a result of the profound changes in the American post-war society and family. World War II was a milestone in the society as a whole, and in the family as a smaller society, and correspondingly among the people as entities which the image of loss seemed inseparable from. American post-War drama fully represents the tough conditions of that era particularly in the themes of familial breakdown and the image of loss.


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