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There are a number of important themes in the play that are particularly relevant given the time setting of the play, the early 1950's. One of the central themes of the play is homosexuality and the ways that the characters wrestle with it was only beginning to be openly discussed or debated at the time. The physical setting of the play is also important in its relation to the time period as the plantation is in a mode of transition, just as much of the south was still changing from a place that hung on in some ways to the mythical glory of the old south where land was passed from father to son and considered the greatest possession, but some of the younger generation were beginning to see it differently and Brick's disinterest mirrors this.
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