The present book is a comparative study of the most prominent themes in the major plays of Philip Barry and S.N.Behrman, two modern American playwrights who began their dramatic careers in the nineteen twenties. Contemporaries of Eugene O’Neill, Elmer Rice, Robert Sherwood and several others, Barry and Behrman had a successful and rewarding dramatic career for over three decades and during this period they were able to make their mark in the modern American theatre as the best known high comedy writers of the present century.
The book attempts to make a comparative analysis of their handling of the important comic themes of love, marriage and personal fulfillment, their response to the pressing problems of their times, their involvement with their personal identities as men and artists and their approach to Freudian psychology. The book particularly emphasizes Barry’s questing spirit and semi-philosophical interests as contrasted to Behrman’s socio-economic pursuits and his artistic dilemma of commitment to the contemporary issues.
The book will be useful to students of modern American drama as well as to scholars and researchers working in the field.