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Postwar Angst and Tensions on Stage and Screen: Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2015, 28(1), pp.97-125
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Heebon Park-Finch 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines Terence Rattigan’s 1952 stage play, The Deep Blue Sea, and its 2011 film version, adapted and directed by Terence Davies, focusing on how they portray the mental struggles of social and psychological misfits fighting against the conventions and morals of a restricted society, how they reflect shared experiences in postwar 1950s London, how they respond to the years of austerity in which the play was written, and how they represent the consequent shift in people’s lifestyle. The play is discussed both as a psychological drama, revealing the playwright’s insight into the complexities of human emotion, and as a social drama, dramatizing the transitional changes taking place in postwar British society. The cinematic transformation is analyzed in terms of whether it fully opens out the play and maximizes visual representation of the fragmented states and psychological conflicts of the main characters, aided by a sound track which articulates the emotional turmoils and tensions. Finally, it is argued that The Deep Blue Sea fully deserves its place in the archive of dramatic works exploring societal breakdown, while offering an accurate commentary on postwar angst, one that is fully complemented by the film adaptation.

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