Fox's Reviews > Heartbreak House

Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw
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May 09, 09

bookshelves: 2009, fiction
Recommended to Fox by: School
Read in May, 2009, read count: 1

Heartbreak House was not what I would consider the best of George Bernard Shaw's plays. The Preface, in particular, was difficult to get through, but after a time it began to get interesting. The idea of the play was to write about World War I from a civilian's perspective -- the point of view of one seeing the War as a novelty rather than the tragedy that it truly was. The play takes place over (two? one?) night at a country manor in the shape of a ship, symbolic of a leisurely Europe sailing into the new century. The play covers the mundane topics of everyday life in Britain in the time, various satirical references to the young lady's marrying for wealth and wealth alone. Each character is torn down to the bare minimum of what they are, ending in an amusing scene in which the "practical businessman" deigns it proper to strip bare since already he has been stripped to his mere morality. The play ends with shots being fired and bombs being dropped near the house, the War that nobody mentioned prior to this point in the play being brought home and perhaps knocking the unaware to their senses as to what really matters.
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