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38 Cards in this Set

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Dramatic Arc

a) Generic home of the term
b) Its characteristics/ definition
c) An example from the text
a) Dramatic Structure
b) This is journey that a specific character takes through the course of the play. It generally begins with rising action, has a climax, and ends with either some sort of falling action or resolution (the resolutions need not always be positive).
c) In Long Day's Journey Into Night Mary opens the play in a state of recovery and successful rehabilitation. However, she begins taking drugs again and by the end of the play Mary has become so intoxicated by her drugs that she has a "dream" in which she is 16 again.
"Slice of Life" Naturalism
a) Genre
b) This is a type of play that is very realistic and true to life (it appears to be a "slice of life" taking place on stage). Characters in these plays are victims of their heredity and environment. They are unable to escape determinism. The play takes place in real time; that is, it begins and goes through to its conclusion without any edits.
c) Long Day's Journey Into Night has naturalistic elements because it depicts characters who suffer from determinism and are unable to escape (with the exception of Edmund). It is not considered completely "slice of life" naturalism because there is some editing and it does not take place in real time.
Psychological Problem Play
a) Genre
b) This is a type of play in which the playwright sets up a specific contemporary problem that somehow deals with psychology and then over the course of the play provides "a solution by recommending a course of action."
c) In Long Day's Journey Into Night we are presented with the problem of determinism and what negative effects are created by heredity and environment. The solution that O' Neill provides through the character of Edmund is to escape determinism through the exploration of philosophy. For Edmund this exploration includes nature and poetry.
"Little Theatre" Movement
a) Historic Event
b) This was an event during the early 1900's in which groups would break from the larger commercial theatres and perform new and experimental shows in small, private theatres.
c) Eugene O'Neill, the author/playwright of Long Day's Journey Into Night, joined took part in the little theatre movement, starting in 1916. His plays were experimental in that they were some of the first to explore psychological characters.
Provincetown Players
a) Historic Event
b) This was an early American theatre company that took part in the little theatre movement.
c) Eugene O'Neill helped form this company in the early 1900s. They were named Provincetown Players after performing their first show on an old, abandoned wharf in Provincetown Massachusetts. Their first production was the S.S. Glencairn series.
Fatalistic Ending
a) Element of Dramatic Structure
b) In a play with a fatalistic ending, characters have generally not changed and are doomed to follow whatever path they have been following throughout the course of the play.
c) Long Day's Journey Into Night has a fatalistic ending because all of the characters (Except Edmund) are stuck in their determinism and are unable to break free of the habits that they developed due to heredity and environment. Tyrone, for example, cannot escape his fear of the poor house and thus continues to be faulted, in that he places money higher than family.
Functional Characters
a) Character
b) This is a type of dramatis persona who does not change or develop over the course of the play. This kind of character exists in order for the developing characters to have someone to talk to and act upon. They help forward the action of the play.
c) In Long Day's Journey Into Night Cathleen is a functional character, because she does not move the story along and she does not develop. Rather, she is simply there to give characters someone to talk to. In Act 3 Mary talks to Cathleen and through their conversation (which is made up of many monologues from Mary) we get a look into Mary's past and her life before she was married.
Developing Characters
a) Character
b) This is a type of dramatis persona who goes on some sort of journey over the course of the play. They usually change in some way.
c) In Long Day's Journey Into Night all of the characters (except Cathleen) are developing characters. Mary, for example, goes on a journey from aware and healthy to muddled and stuck in drug dreams.
a) Philosophy
b) A character is stuck in determinism when his habits and the make-up of his character are created by a combination of his heredity and environment. Often characters are unable to break out of determinism. This philosophy was popular in early 20th century American theatre.
c) In Long Day's Journey Into Night Tyrone's character is determined by the fact that he grew up poor and had to work very hard in life. For this reason he often will value money over family.
Greek Tragedy
a) Genre
b) This is a type of play that focuses on a tragic hero, who is responsible for his own downfall (hubris). A Greek tragedy must have a magnitude of importance and must cause the audience to experience catharsis (pity and fear) by the end of the play. Greek tragedies also must end with the preservation of the individual over society (even if the individual must die in the process). Greek tragedies are associated with ancient religious festivals.
c) Antigone is an example of a Greek tragedy.
Modern Tragedy
a) Genre
b) There is much debate between critics as to whether or not modern tragedies actually exist. Some have argued that modern tragedies do not exist, because tragedy no longer has a specific religious association. These same critics also say heros no longer exist in tragedies, only victims of society. Those who do believe that modern tragedies exist believe that they are the same as Greek tragedies without the religious association.
c) Long Day's Journey Into Night has been considered by some to be a modern tragedy. Edmund acts as a tragic hero (in some ways) because, even though his family members are stuck in determinism and even though he himself is physically weak, he is able to preserve himself (the individual) by escaping from determinism via nature and the arts (specifically poetry).
Redemptive Ending
a) Element of Dramatic Structure
b) This is a kind of ending in which a character "redeems" themselves by changing something about themselves for the better.
c) Edmund in Long Day's Journey Into Night ends his part of the play with a redemptive ending by breaking from determinism. He uses nature and poetry to avoid falling into the same patterns of drinking and whoring as Jamie.
a) Literary/Dramatic Technique
b) This technique is made up of any sort of picture or symbol that comes up often in either the dialogue or in the stage directions of the play. Imagery is used as metaphor and symbolism to reveal inner/hidden meaning.
c) One image that occurs a lot in Long Day's Journey Into Night is the whisky bottle. It symbolizes a means of escape from reality.
Dashiell Hammett
A) American 20th century author
B) He is an American author who focused much of his work in detective novels. As for politics, he was very much involved in the American Communist party which led to several run-ins with the house of un-American government.
C) He lived together with Lillian Hellman for 30 years and thus, influenced much of her work in terms of style of writing and politics.
A) Dramatic/literary technique
B) An expression or a statement that has more than one meaning and which consequently leaves uncertainty to the real meaning of the statement
In plays, it can also refer to certain events that leaves the reader is unsure of what is going to happen since the play hints at multiple possibilities happening
C) Ex.: At the end of Little Foxes, the reader is left unsure if Alexandra is able to break out of the greed of the family and incorporate the values of both cultures.
A) Dramatic/literary technique
B) The point in the story where a character's situation or fortune changes in a dramatic fashion.
C) Ex.: When Horace dies and essentially leaves Regina with practically nothing, she in turn is able to swindle Ben and Oscar into giving her a huge portion of their entire profits. As such, Regina goes from poor to rich in less than one night.
A) Dramatic/literary technique
B) Obvious hints at what are to come in the future.
C) Ex.: The characters keep predicting Horace's death throughout Act II in the play especially when Regina hopes Horace "to die soon" while Horace solemnly acknowledges this fact.
A) Dramatic/literary technique
B) A literary device that uses contradictory statements or situations to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true.
C) Ex.: It was ironic how Regina at the beginning kept pushing for Horace to get a greater share than Ben and Oscar while Horace himself in no way wanted to be part of the deal.
A) genre
B) Any literary work that uses implausible events or actions to further the plotline of a story. It also involves a clear villain and a clear hero with noble qualities. Usually it ends happily with the protagonist defeating the antagonist at the last second.
C) The common example of the villain tying the hero to railroad and the hero escaping at the last possible second.
"Dark Comedy"
A) genre
B) A comedy that deals with serious, and sometimes uneasy topics in a lighter or more humorous way.
C) Ex.: As the critic Lederer would put it, Lillian Hellman's Little Foxes deals with the topics of societal dysfunction, cultural disintegration, and greed in a comedic way.
A) Dramatic/literary technique
B) A statement that at first seems contradictory, but once closely examined makes sense and holds a greater truth.
C) Ex.: In Long Day's Journey Into Night, Jamie says that he loves but he hates Edmund at the same time. Jamie loves Edmund because he wants a better future for his brother, but he is also jealous of the fact that Edmund can escape the dark life that consumes Jamie.
A) A form of dramatic construction
B) Genres describe the means through which the literary work conveys itself and its message to the readers/audience.
C) Ex.: Melodrama, Dark comedy, Satire
A) The Author's Worldview
B) The author's philosophical vision through which he/she defines his/her work.
C) Ex.: Romanticism (freedom and imagination of rules and societal laws), Realism (actions and observable circumstances, faithful to real life occurances), Expressionism (objectify the inner experience)
a.) Literary or dramatic technique/device
b.) The juxtaposition of unlikes so that each will question the other and throw it into relief.
c.) Example: sun vs. fog, past vs. present in Long Days Journey Into Night.
a.) One of Aristotle’s 6 elements
b.) The dominant idea that a writer is trying to convey to his readers in a work of art.
c.) Example: the theme of homelessness and allusion vs. reality in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and the theme of greediness in The Little Foxes.
a.) Theatre movement/style
b.) The literature and art movement in the 18th and 19th century characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions.
Romantic quality or spirit in thought, expression, or action.
c.) Example: in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Edmund finds a sense of belonging with nature (sea and poetry).
a.) Theatre movement/literary technique/device
b.) “Objectify inner experience”
Portrays the internal life of man and shows the world as he experiences it subjectively.
Use of symbols, images, or objects which openly ‘stage’ this mental and personal subjective experience.
c.) Example: the imagery of the “fog” in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and “City of Bones” in Gem of the Ocean.
Dramatic Structure
a.) Element of construction; overall genre of a play.
b.) Model of play construction; including the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
c.) Example: “The Well-Made Play,” Tragedy, Comedy.
Dramatic Action
a.) Aristotelian element of drama.
b.) Arc of a conflict; a character’s “need” or “want” that allows a character to move forward, make choices and adjustments, and generally just keeps the character moving forward.
c.) Example: In Little Foxes, power and greed seem to be the strong forces that drive Regina, Ben, and Oscar.
“Well-made play”
a.) Genre/structure of a play (Eugene Scribe first coined the term)
b.) Plot based on a withheld secret that, revealed at the climax of the action, turns the tide in the hero’s favor
Initial exposition that summarizes the story up to the raising of the curtain and slowly accelerating action and suspense sustained by such contrivances as precisely timed entrances and exits, letters which miscarry, mistaken identity, and quiproquos (in which two or more characters, by unwittingly misinterpreting a situation in different ways, become hopelessly entangled)
A series of ups and downs, in a battle of wits between two adversaries, suspense being initiated by the planning of clues to imminent events and by the withholding of information from certain characters
A reversal in the action followed by a climatic “obligatory” scene
A logical, credible denouncement
A microscopic repetition of the overall structural pattern in each act.
The characters are judged according to standards of right and wrong acceptable to the audience.
c.) Example: Fata Morgana lead the audience through its build up of suspense, and precisely timed acts (such as when Mathilde sneaks up to George’s room)
“Boomerang irony”
a.) Literary technique/device (coined by Robers Boies Sharpe; as discussed by Lederer)
b.) A character’s situation that involves an incongruity between what is expected or intended and what actually ends up catching back to them.
c.) Example: in Little Foxes: with the stolen bonds, Ben and Oscar believe they are free from Regina, but their plan backfires when Regina wins back her control after Horace’s death. (more on page45-46 of Lederers critique)
Hollywood Blacklist
a.) A historical event; plan and/or actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee
b.) The mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected.
c.) Lillian Hellman was blacklisted in 1952, after she had appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refused to reveal the names of anyone she knew who might have had Communist Associations by taking the 5th.
Sociological Problem Play
a.) Genre/structure of a play
b.) A play that focuses on the development of a group of characters, and their interactions with eachother.
c.) In Little Foxes, there lies an ever-present interaction between different social classes.
House Un-American Activities Committee
a.) Investigative Committee of the United States House of Representatives
b.) Hellman appeared before the HUAC after they were aware that he lover, Dashiell Hammet, had been a Communist Party member.
“I cannot and will not cut my conscious to fit this year’s fashions”- Lillian Hellman
Dramatic Irony
a.) Literary technique/device
b.) When the audience is aware of the meaning or implication of a situation onstage but the characters do not.
c.) Example: Lederer states that in Little Foxes, “we know before Ben and Oscar that Regina knows about the bonds; we know before Regina that Ben and Oscar don’t need Horace’s money, and we realize that Horace is charting his own doom when he repeatedly says that Regina won’t have her way as long as he is alive.”
a.) Literary Technique/device
b.) The opening portion of a narrative or drama (scene is set, protagonist is introduced, and the author discloses any background events that are to follow)
Establishes the main characters and initiates the conflict between them.
c.) Example: In the beginning of Little Foxes, Addie and Cal’s discussion allows the audience to understand what has been going on in the play thus far.
a.) Dramatic/Literary Technique
b.) Placing things side-by-side. In art this usually is done with the intention of bringing out a specific quality or creating an effect, particularly when two contrasting or opposing elements are used.
The viewer's attention is drawn to the similarities or differences between the elements.
c.) Example: In Long Day’s Journey into Night, Mary’s innocence is juxtaposed against a backsplash of a drug addiction.
a) style
b) actions and observable circumstances, faithful to real life occurances
c) Long Days Journey Into Night was about dysfunctional family with a turbulent upbringing, which can occur to anyone in real life.