The Children's Hour

by Lillian Hellman

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 167

Research the fate of The Children's Hour in major cities, including Boston, Chicago, and London, where, in the 1930s, community standards led to a banning of the play's public performance.

Research the question of libel and slander in American civil law. Relate your findings to the situation in the play.

Read Maxell Anderson's adaptation of William Marsh's novel, The Bad Seed, comparing Mary Tilford with Rhoda Penmark, the child murderess of that work. How are the two girls similar? How are they different?

Conduct a comparative investigation of the public response to the "outing episode" of the television sitcom Ellen and the furor raised over the lesbian theme in The Children's Hour.

Research the relationship between the 1952 revival of The Children's Hour and the congressional (HUAC) investigations of domestic communism then in progress.

Investigate current theory regarding the biochemical origins of criminal behavior and the psychopathic personality, relating your findings to Mary Tilford's character and behavior in The Children's Hour. Does Mary qualify as a sociopathic criminal?

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