Theatre Of The Absurd Essay

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Imagine the trauma of those that experienced World War II, were victims of the Nazis and Fascist, and lived under the threat of nuclear bombing. Those events and experiences were significant, challenging the conventional ways people were living their lives. This influenced theatre in a big way, through a type of theatre called Avant-Garde (Franks). Avant-Garde was known to introduce original ideas, forms, and techniques. Often considered Experimental Theatre, it lacked logically-constructed plots and pushed the limits of the stage (Franks). It evolved into a form of theatre, known as the Theatre of the Absurd, which challenged the norm of the post-World War II society (Culik). Through unique methods, the Theatre of the Absurd made a major impact on drama and life, challenging the power that realism had on the theatre and people during the 1950s.
Three events or experiences occurred that influenced Theatre of the Absurd. The first was World War II which occurred from 1939 to 1945 (Axelrod 223 263). The second event was the uprising of Nazism and Fascism, as well as Hitler’s persecution of six million Jews, which was about two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population (Axelrod 253). In 1949, the third event occurred which was when the atomic bomb was detonated by the Soviets (Axelrod 280). All had an impact on society and caused people to look and question their identity.
After WWII, hostility grew between the western Powers and the Soviet Bloc as communism spread. During this time the United Nations changed its focus from anti-Nazism to trying to maintain world peace. Consumerism grew as people had money and mobility to consume goods. Tract housing began and suburbs were forming. Some saw it as a time of well-being despite t...

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...ceros is often thought to depict one man’s struggle and willpower to keep his identity and not fall to the pressures of life. Some see it as a response to the expansion of fascism. The author’s purpose of writing the play was to understand the “mentality of those who easily succumbed to fascism” as opposed to criticizing the Nazis (Rhinoceros).
Due to its global nature, World War II, the uprising of Nazism and Fascism, and the threat of nuclear bombs gave people a different perspective of life. Absurdist authors, such as Ionesco, helped society transition from one instant to the next, giving people a glimmer of hope through art and theatre (Mackenzie). Although controversial at times, it showed the American people how to break out of traditional ways and look at things differently. It made a difference in 20th century life and was a major influence on theatre.
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