Analysis

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Awake and Sing! is a play by Clifford Odets, an American writer and director. Odets wrote the play to show how the Great Depression and capitalism affected the lives of ordinary families. One of the main themes in the novel is financial hardship. In the play, the Bergers (a Jewish family) face many financial problems, to the extent that they are unable to meet their basic needs, such as food and shelter. The author implies that the Great Depression had a more adverse effect on immigrants.

The author primarily focuses on character development in the play. He describes the members of the family in detail. Odet seems to prioritize character development above the play’s plot. For instance, he explains at great length how Bessie Berger is jovial and selfless and how her husband, Myron, has dreams of making a lot of money.

Despite enjoying the drama in the play, I feel that the book’s ending was too sudden. The author should have focused on developing the plot. Nonetheless, I appreciate how the author portrayed the daily life of a dysfunctional Jewish family during the Great Depression.

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