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George's Choice: Business Ethics Issue and American Values in The City

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2012, 25(2), pp.33-63
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Jungman Park 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Clyde Fitch’s play The City (1909) draws the changes faced by the American society at the turn of the century. Set in the first decade of the 1900s when urban growth and the resulting complications—especially of corporate scandals, political corruptions, and evil of politics-business collusion—occurred, this play deals with the rise and fall of the Rand family who come from a small town to New York City. Exploring the influence of the city life upon the family, the play discloses contemporary problems and provides moral statements related. In particular, the ‘business ethics’ issue addressed in the play brings to light the hypocrisy and corruption of those who have been respected as the leading and foremost citizens. Towards the end of the play, the business ethics is created by the protagonist George’s courageous decision into the American values for the new era. George is a successful businessman who has an ambition to be the Governor of New York. With his unethical business methods disclosed, he comes to crisis of losing all his vested interests, including wealth, reputation, dream and love. George decides to own up his wrong-doing and be truthful to his life-long creed of honesty. Accordingly he gives up everything he lived for and starts all over again empty-handed. George’s choice of honesty and conscience emerges as the ideal value to be cherished among the young generation. In addition, the subject matter of ‘the American values in the new era,’ implied by George’s choice, ​is understood as the dramatic expression of Clyde Fitch’s efforts to establish the identity of American drama in the new era.

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