Golden Boy: A Play in Three Acts

Golden Boy: A Play in Three Acts

Golden Boy: A Play in Three Acts

Golden Boy: A Play in Three Acts

Excerpt

Golden Boy has already been praised as a good show, common-sense entertainment, and effective melodrama. It has also been blamed for betraying Hollywood influence in its use of terse, typical situations, story motifs which resemble that of either popular fiction or movies, and possibly too in its use of an environment (the prize-fight world) that somehow seems unworthy of the serious purpose professed by its author. There has been, in addition, almost universal admiration for many separate scenes and long passages of brilliant dialogue.

What has not been discussed very fully however is the total significance of these divers elements, the meaning that their configuration within one framework might have. And it is this meaning, both in relation to the American scene and to Clifford Odets' work and progress within it, that might be most valuable to examine.

An early draft of Golden Boy bore the designation "a modern allegory." An allegory, I take it, is an extremely simple but boldly outlined tale in which a series of images is used to suggest a mean . . .

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