Act One Critical Context - Essay

Moss Hart

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Young people frequently believe that they are making their way alone through a world in which no one understands them. Often, they feel as though life has control of them rather than the opposite. It is an excellent lesson to learn that anyone can have plans arranged in a logical sequence to an end result and can accomplish this goal. Hart argues that one step at a time, without skipping any steps, is the way to approach and achieve any goal and that progress can be made in spite of family, socioeconomic status, and ethnic stereotypes.

It is impossible to read the book without learning much about the world and business of the theater, from both the outsider’s and the insider’s perspective. Young people interested in theater arts will learn that theater, far from being a glamorous escape, is a job like any other. It is less secure and more unstable, but it can offer great rewards for the talented, hardworking, and courageous who believe in themselves.

It would not be an exaggeration to call Act One an inspirational book told in complete honesty and candor and without self-pity or sentimentality. It is not, however, a simple Cinderella story, for it also depicts Hart confronting his feelings about his family and coming to accept and love them for what they are. These universalities make the book a classic.