Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 208
- Waiting for Godot (1952) is Samuel Beckett's best known play and shares top billing with Ionesco's The Bald Soprano as the most important works in the theater of the absurd. It was written at about the same time but not produced until 1953.
- The Chairs (1952), Ionesco's third staged anti-play, which many consider his best, also depicts a collapse into nothingness, partly through words but also through the crowding of the stage with empty chairs and invisible characters.
- 1984 (1949), George Orwell's dystopian study of Oceana, depicts a futuristic society gone amok. Mind control is partly achieved through Newspeak, a diminished version of English which attempts to limit proletariat thinking to government-sanctioned ideas.
- Fahrenheit 451 (1953) is Ray Bradbury's science fiction novel of future society in which books, including the great classics of literature, are banned and people are spoon fed verbal and visual images by the government.
- The American Dream (1960), by Edward Albee is the first real foray into the absurdist technique by a major American playwright. It shares Ionesco's concern with the debasement of language.
- The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) is Albert Camus's inquiry into the value of life in an absurd world—one devoid of purpose or meaning. A major proponent of existentialism, Camus provides insight into the philosophical basis of absurdist drama.
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