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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 338

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One of the strongest themes in Three Tall Women is the way an individual’s perspective on aging changes as he or she gets older. This theme is often found in poetry as well, particularly in the work of the English Romantic poets of the early nineteenth century. Read William Wordsworth’s ‘‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’’ (1804) or selections from William Blake’s collection of poetry, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794). Contrast the portrayal of childhood and adulthood expressed by Albee, Wordsworth and Blake. In what ways are they different? How has the passage of time affected the way people view age and experience?

The protagonist’s life was largely shaped by her childhood in the early part of the century. Research the ‘‘Jazz Age’’ of America in the 1920s. Describe what life was like for the wealthy in the larger cities on the East Coast and compare it with today. Also, compare the opportunities available to women at that time with today. How have things changed for women?

When C learns how her life has turned out, she is very surprised. Write an outline of your personal goals in life. Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten? In fifty? Try to include as many details as you can. Then write a completely different plan that would make you just as happy. Change your career, your relationships, and your lifestyle. How can you accomplish each of your two projected lives? What elements of your plans are things you can control, and which are those you cannot?

How are men portrayed in the play? Consider her first love, her husband, and her son. Are these portrayals fair? Give reasons for your answer.

The ‘‘tall woman’’ and her son have a confrontation about his friends, his sexual orientation, and his lifestyle. As a result, they do not speak to each other for twenty years. What could they have done differently to avoid this estrangement? Write a scene in which the two characters meet again after twenty years.


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