Golden Boy Questions and Answers
by Clifford Odets

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What’s the narrative prospective of Golden Boy?  

In Clifford Odets's Golden Boy, the principal narrative perspective can be seen as that of Joe Bonaparte's father. The elder Bonaparte is the only one who clearly understands that his son will be corrupted by the fight business, and that by giving up his earlier plans to devote himself to music, Joe is essentially destroying himself.

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In a stage play, when one speaks of narrative perspective, it necessarily means something different from say, the perspective or point of view in a novel, which may be written in the first person or, if it's a third-person narrative, may nevertheless be a story told or seen from the point of view of a protagonist or protagonists. In drama, unless it's a play such as Thornton Wilder's Our Town, for instance, in which the character of the Stage-Manager serves as a kind of emcee who describes and controls the action, the perspective is one the audience must deduce from the themes or the "message" the play puts forth. At times, it can even be a relatively minor character who embodies or expresses such a point of view, and who is the voice of the author, seeing the action and the meaning of the drama as the author does.

In Golden Boy, the central idea animating the play is that money, along with the need people have to sacrifice their more important and...

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