Analyze the play The Still Alarm by George S. Kaufman.

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The Still Alarm is a satire of English society. The short comedy can also be considered a parody of the drawing-room comedies that were popular in the 1920s. The pretentiousness and “stiff upper lip” that Americans, in particular, associate with the English are both present here. Bob and Ed converse about trivial concerns while their world may literally be coming to an end: they are in a hotel that is on fire. Their determination to show their fortitude is likewise satirized, as they ignore the firemen who come to put out the blaze. Kaufman’s taste for unexpected silliness is in evidence as well, as the firemen stop their work to play the violin.

George S. Kaufman was a prolific playwright who sometimes was the single author of a work, as was the case for this sketch. He became recognized as a comic genius, often working with Moss Hart or another writer, through plays such as You Can’t Take It with You and his collaborative efforts in writing Marx Brothers films such as Animal Crackers.

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