The scope of naturalism in British working-class drama, with particular reference to Joe Corrie, D.H. Lawrence and Sean O'Casey
The purpose of this dissertation is to define the scope of naturalism in British working-class drama with special reference to the plays of D.H. Lawrence, Sean O'Casey and Joe Corrie. To fulfill such a project, I undertook a personal assessment of the theory of naturalism and its practice in the theatre. For the purpose of being more comprehensive, I carried out a comparative study between working-class naturalism and that of the New Drama since the latter preceded the former. Having assessed and evaluated the theory of naturalism, in general, and its manifestation in the works of the new drama exponents and of the working-class dramatists, I defined and discussed the comparative aspects, as concepts, in the plays of three British playwrights. I have also tried to familiarize the reader with the features of the conversational analysis in the light of which I approached the issue of how similar to natural discourse dramatic dialogue may be. The study of the manifestation of naturalism in the plays of Lawrence, Corrie and O'Casey, which covers the last three chapters, is undertaken in the light of the scope of naturalism as I have previously defined it. In other words, an attempt is being made to question the validity of the naturalist theory as advocated by its exponents, and to prove the practicality of the angle from which I approached naturalism by examining certain plays. The study of the plays, therefore, allows me to define the extent to which one can refer to Lawrence, Corrie and O'Casey as naturalist dramatists and to question, if not to correct, some unfounded criticisms of naturalism in general and working-class naturalism in particular.