Neil Simon Utilizing Charatter Exaggeration


NEIL SIMON: UTILIZING CHARACTER EXAGGERATION
"Neil ("Doc") Simon stands alone as by far the most successful American playwright of this century and most probably in the history of the American theater" (Litz 573). He has entertained audiences for over thirty years with many Broadway productions, screenplays and television scripts. "He has been hailed as the most formidable comedy writer in American theater" (Geitner 253). Despite his great success, the majority of critics have refused to look past Simon's "detonatingly funny" quips and punchlines to the subject matter in his plays (Geitner 253). "He has been virtually ignored by these literary critics, who routinely dismiss him as a ...

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onto floor, writhing and laughing so hard that some of them pass out" (Geitner 254). Simon uses different elements to put stress on the conflict and also to aid in the humor of his plays. The jokes that Simon produces arise from the situation, usuallybrought forth by variegated elements, one of which is character exaggeration.
In two of his early plays, Come Blow Your Horn and Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Simon utilizes character exaggeration. In each of these plays the conflicts are aided by the exaggeration of the characters, which reveals each character’s personality clearly and accurately. Situations are intensified and apparent, thus the underlying conflict is easily perceived. The character exaggeration also promotes themes that arise throughout Simon’s plays.
Neil Simon's Come Blow Your Horn, is centered around two brothers, Alan and Buddy. They both work for their father's waxed fruit company. Alan, the older of the brothers, is a swinging bachelor who comes ...

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from missing the meeting to take a vacation, to being an unmarried bum. Alan's lazy attitude and lifestyle interferes with his job, and consequently his father, who is his boss. The fact that when Alan moved away from home Mr. Baker began to disapprove of him, and now Buddy, the son to whom Mr. Baker had decided to endow all his hope, moved away from home unquestionably put the nail in the coffin.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers is Simon's attack on despair through comedy. "Last of the Red Hot Lovers is not merely a comedy, but a commentary in the manner of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961)" (Geitner 257). The main character, Barney Cashman, who is the "last of the red hot lovers" ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/1/2004 05:13:22 PM
Category: American History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1841
Pages: 7

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