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The Politics of Patricide in Another Part of the Forest

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2008, 21(3), pp.5-33
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Kang Kwan-soo 1

1신경대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Hellman lived in the turmoil of the Great Depression. The economic crisis had a deep influence upon her life and her plays. She thought all this suffering and miseries were due to the greed of some capitalists, not the capitalism itself. These industrial capitalists have been praised as the "economic fathers" which achieved American Dream through their efforts. They appeared with the rise of a modern industrial society. But in Hellman's dramatic works, they were not suggested as the heroes, but as the predators who sacrificed many other people and ruined the harmonious communities. So she tried to find how and when the 'nasty' predators appeared in American history. While she tried to investigate the origin of these nasty industrialists, she was interested in the symbolic patricide in Totem and Taboo. According to Freud, in the beginning of a history was there a brutal and egoistic father, whom the sons revolted against and killed. The same is true of Marcus(a father) and Ben(a son) in Another Part of the Forest. Marcus is represented as a primal father, and Ben as his rebellious son. Marcus does not like his sons, but favors his daughter. He treats his sons like his servants, and always frustrates Ben's plans to do business and make money. He is a self-made man through hard work. He became successful by illegally using the opportunity given by the Civil War, so people in the village hate him very much. But he has a secret about the massacre of the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Ben uses this secret properly and wins the power game with his father. Ben becomes another father after he finishes the reign of his father. After he comes to power, Ben wants to rule the world not by brutal force, but by the law. He makes a new law in which love is not allowed and in which money is the law. His victory brings the era of the law governed by money and power. As a result of forbidden love and the law of money, Regina becomes an iron woman in The Little Foxes, and Ben becomes a cunning and cruel economic tycoon. Hellman's focus on forbidden love and the law of money reveals us the origins of the nasty industrialists and of the sufferings of many people in the Depression Era.

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