Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Billy J. Harbin
The growth of science and technology exploded in the first half of the twentieth century. At the same time America was developing for the first time a dramatic literature that was worthy of international respect. Beginning in 1913, when the young Eugene O'Neill wrote his first plays, this study traces the appearances of science and technology in the drama from that year until the start of World War II. Special attention has been given to the clock, the car, electronic communications, scientists, dehumanization in the machine age, technology as religion, and film. The drama of the era reveals a previously unnoted fascination with the elements of technology, and abounds with both positive and negative reactions. Included in the study are the complete works of Eugene O'Neill through 1941, the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays of the era, and selected plays by Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, S. N. Behrman, Marc Connelly, Susan Glaspell, Paul Green, Lillian Hellman, Sidney Howard, George S. Kaufman, George Kelly, John Howard Lawson, Clifford Odets, Elmer Rice, Sophie Treadwell, Robert Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder among others.
Cockrell, Charles Keith, "Reflections of Science and Technology in American Drama From 1913 to 1941." (1999). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6935.