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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines realist plays in the United States before the golden age of realism during the period from 1920 to 1970. It discusses the concept of realism as applied to drama and analyzes the work of William Dean Howells who is considered an early exponent of realism in his fiction. It suggests that while only a few realists emerged before 1920, their works kept alive the playwright’s wish to describe life as lived rather than as desired. This essay also considers several relevant works, including Clyde Fitch’s The City, Edward Sheldon’s Salvation Nell, and Rachel Crothers in A Man’s World.

Keywords: realist plays, realism, drama, William Dean Howells, Clyde Fitch, The City, Edward Sheldon, Salvation Nell, Rachel Crothers, A Man’s World

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