Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Fine Arts

Department

Theatre

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Kimbrough

Abstract

Early disability research in the social sciences focused on the individual, or the person with the disability. Only recently has disability research accepted that every family member is affected. The disabled does not suffer the disability alone; the entire family— as well as friends and relatives—suffer ramifications. Parental roles are altered, and grief, anger and guilt often blur the parameters of acceptable parental care. By using disabled family dynamic research in dialog with The Glass Menagerie, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, and Time for Ben, I argue that the disabled family dynamic is present, accurately portrayed, and significant to these three plays. Not only is the disabled family dynamic accurately portrayed in the plays, each of these plays precedes disability research in the issues that it presents. By examining the characters and issues presented in the plays through a disability research lens, I argue that these playwrights realistically portray the ramifications of the disabled family dynamic.

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