Lillian Hellman Drama Analysis
Beginning with her first play, The Children’s Hour, Lillian Hellman’s plays possessed certain dramatic characteristics: crisp, forceful, realistic dialogue; clear character construction and analysis; and a clear-cut plot line in the tradition of the well-made play, with fast movement and adroitly handled suspense that kept (and can still keep) audiences enthralled. Most of her plays can be called melodramatic, because of the suspense, because of the use of violence and of blackmail, and because of obvious authorial manipulation to achieve a neat conclusion. The plays are never, however, pure melodrama because pure melodrama would not include valid, well-drawn characters or significant themes.
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