How do I create a good summary of each act of this play and analyze it?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would first decide how you want to structure your summary. You could either summarize the entire play by summarizing all three acts, and then write the analysis section after the entire summary, or you could divide both the summary and analysis into three pieces. The second option is my recommendation for summarizing and analyzing a play. Summarize act 1 in as many paragraphs as you need. Then provide an analysis of act 1 in some following separate paragraphs. Do that set-up for each of the three acts. At a minimum,this will produce 6 paragraphs.

When summarizing the acts of the play, focus on what happens and who is involved. Stick with concrete details. The summary is not the place to put in your own thoughts and interpretations of events. That's what the analysis section is for. You can choose to analyze as much or as little as you would like, but I definitely recommend focusing on character development and theme development. The analysis could also examine the writing style, tone, mood, historical context, literary devices used, and so on.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A good way to make your own summaries is to read carefully, and make a note everytime something happens. Then, look over your notes and decide what was the most important event or revelation of that act. Then, expand upon those events in two ways-- one, explain what happened and what it means to the story which is the summary. Then interpret what you think the events mean in a more general sense and you've got the beginnings of an analysis. Good luck!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

eNotes has some really good summaries and analyses of The Birthday Party. Check out the links below, I think you will find exactly what it is you are looking for.

Link #1- character analysis

Link #2- summary of Act One

Link #3- summary of Act Two

Link #4-summary of Act Three  http://www.enotes.com/birthday-party/act-iii-summary

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial