(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

THE WEAVERS is usually rated the best of Hauptmann’s dramatic works. It is almost wholly a socio-economic study in that the characters are types caught in irresistible forces of the social and industrial system under which they live. The dramatic incidents are a microcosm of the much wider industrial revolution, with the unemployment caused in part by the introduction of power looms. In this play no answer to the problem is given; rather, Hauptmann shows us people who react in the only way they can when misery becomes too oppressive.