Topics for Further Study

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  • Research the economic future of small town America in the period immediately after World War II. Consider the importance of agriculture, as well as job opportunities for young men and women. Why do so many of the young people in Picnic seek to escape?
  • Explore the overt sexuality of Picnic and Inge's 1949 play, Come Back, Little Sheba. Compare and contrast how this topic is handled in each play.
  • Compare Madge and Millie. In their common desire to escape, they appear very alike, and yet, each seems to have different plans for their respective futures. Discuss their similarities and differences and argue for each young woman's chances for success in achieving their goals.
  • Research the role of alcohol in Inge's plays. Consider its function as a catalyst for change. Is alcohol portrayed positively or negatively in these works?

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