Six Characters in Search of an Author

by Luigi Pirandello

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In Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, how does the time frame work?

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Like other Modernist works, Six Characters in Search of an Author defies the chronological and linear development of the events. In Pirandello's play, the mixing of past and present in the narrative is also instrumental in blurring the boundaries between reality and illusion. The present in the play is represented by the rehearsals which are interrupted by the arrival of the six characters. These begin to narrate the events of the play they're trying to finish, events that are part of the past. Yet, some of these past events in the lives of the characters are re-enacted in the present of the rehearsals, thus generating more ambiguity as far as reality and illusion are concerned. For example, in the second act, the Father and the Step-daughter re-enact their encounter at Madame Pace's brothel. In the third act, the past events recalled in the play are the deaths of the Little Boy and the Little Girl. The Little Boy's death, however, is questioned and we're left wondering whether it ever happened.

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