Topics for Further Study
Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 246
Many of the recent breakthroughs in psychiatry have been in the use of drugs to help with mental conditions. Research one such behavior-altering drug, such as Prozac or Lithium, and determine whether you think that, like formula 977 in the play, it would make Elwood P. Dowd quit seeing Harvey.
At one of the early rehearsals of this play, the producers tried having Harvey appear on stage, with an actor in a rabbit costume crossing the stage for six seconds. Discuss whether you think this would be an effective staging technique or not.
Describe what you would do if Harvey could overcome time and space and any objections for you.
With decreasing tolerance for drunk drivers, the public is less and less inclined to see a chronic drinker as childlike or free-spirited. Do you think that modern audiences would be able to appreciate Harvey as much as audiences did when it was first staged in the 1940s?
There is something about Elwood P. Dowd that makes this pooka appear to him as a rabbit. Pick some public figures from politics, sports or entertainment and explain what sort of pookas would appear to them and why.
Stage plays often rely on music to represent something that cannot be explicitly shown. Often, unseen characters, such as ghosts, have specific music associated with them, so that audiences know when they are present. Play an original or prerecorded song to your class that you think could represent Harvey and explain why.