Crimes of the Heart

by Beth Henley
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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 241

Research the destructive effects of Hurricane "Camille," which in 1969 traveled 1,800 kilometers along a broad arc from Louisiana to Virginia. Why do you think Henley chose to set Crimes of the Heart in the shadow, as it were, of this Hurricane? What does Camille represent for each of the major characters and thematically to the play as a whole?

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Consider Babe's legal position at the end of the play. What do you think is likely to happen to her? Draw from your understanding of Barnette's case against Zackery and Zackery's case against Babe. From your own perspective, how do you think Babe will change as a result of this event and what do you feel her future should rightly be?

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Latest answer posted August 30, 2020, 7:08 pm (UTC)

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Contrast Lenny's and Meg's life strategies: how do they each view responsibility, career, family, romance? How spontaneous—or not—is each one? What are the strongest bonds between the sisters, and what are their sources of conflict?

Research the prestige of the Pulitzer Prizes and the history of the Pulitzer for Drama—you might begin with Thomas P. Adler's book Mirror on the Stage: The Pulitzer Plays as an Approach to American Drama. When Henley won the Pulitzer for Drama in 1981, who was the last woman who had won the prize, twenty-three years earlier? Why did winning the Pulitzer draw so much attention to Henley, as it did to Marsha Norman two years later, when she won with her play 'Night, Mother?

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