Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the history of naturalism and expressionism in American drama during the early twentieth century. It explains that both movements were reactions to realism and are both legatees of the social problem play insofar as they expose social problems to view. It describes how American playwrights employed a naturalist stage milieu to render visible the social and material forces of modern life and counterpointed the languages of expression to project the spiritual and psychological angst of living amidst such forces in a program of radical aesthetics. This essay also argues that these movements should be considered as integral to theatre of the period and not merely as outliers to the O’Neill-to-Miller-to-Williams trajectory of American drama.

Keywords: naturalism, expressionism, American drama, realism, social problems

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.