Children of a Lesser God

by Mark Medoff

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 240

Research the following and discuss the contribution of each to the world of theater: The National Theater of the Deaf, Louie Fant, Bernard Bragg, and Phyllis Frelich.

Alexander Graham Bell was a teacher of the deaf long before he invented the telephone. He is well known for devising "Bell's Visible Speech." Find out more information on this topic and pay particular attention to the chart, if available.

Through the years there has been an ongoing argument between the oralists (those who favor speech and lip-reading only) and the manualists (those who support the learning of sign language). The Clarke School for the Deaf in Massachusetts and the John Tracy Clinic in California are good sources of information for the oral point of view. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, is an excellent resource for the sign language camp. Consult these resources and use the information you obtain to show how Sarah's character has been influenced by the two opposing factions.

Just as there are dialects in spoken language (the southern drawl, the New England twang), there are dialects and differing ways to say the same thing in sign language. Research American Sign Language (ASL) and the varying forms of signed English. Show how these signing dialects play an important role in the play.

Compare the characters of James and Anne Sullivan (from William Gibson's The Miracle Worker). How does each approach the role of teacher? How do their teaching strategies compare?

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