I am to choose two references in the play of a place, person, idea or thing that I am unfamiliar with in stage directions or in character dialogue. I can't see to find what is being asked for. I need two references that I don't understand and research what they mean.

Expert Answers

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Intimate Apparel is a fairly straightforward play.  It appears that you are being asked to choose two places, people, ideas or things that do not physically exist in the play.  They are merely referred to or referenced.  They are to be things that you are not familiar with in your own life.  However, due to their description in the play, you can discuss them as if you had actually experienced them.

Unfortunately, I can not choose them for you since I have no personal knowledge of your life's events.  A safe bet would be the bordello or the Panama Canal.  Esther's feelings of spinsterhood are also referenced to without being blatant. 

Start with the Panama Canal.  It was started in1881, by the French government.  The United States took over in 1904.  It was finished in 1914.  The play takes place in 1905, so we know that the U.S. had just barely gotten into the work involved on the canal.

Then there are bordellos.  During the early 1900's what was the general cultural feeling concerning such establishments?

Finally, there is the classification of spinsterhood.  How does one fall into that category?  Is it by choice, or circumstance?  Can one escape from that niche in life?

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