Sleep Deprivation Chamber Theater 393

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Alexander family once believed that they had rose above the racial limitations imposed on their African-American ancestors. The parents were well educated and successful representing the transformation of the post-Civil Rights era. Yet, one night, all of the conflicts of the former eras rose again when Teddy and a white police officer faced each other. Through this single event out rolls a surreal complex story. Never before has a play been able to capture the essence of anxiety you feel when dealing with a major life conflict. From the very first dream scene of the play I found myself in a confusion that literally left me feeling hopeless. While readers may originally point this to an almost rambling hallucinogenic like state which the play was scripted in my in my analysis of the play I found a never before seen creative surrealism used to captivate an audience. Clive Barnes of the New York times summed up the essence of Adrienne Kennedy’s work when he wrote “While almost every black playwright in the country is fundamentally concerned with realism--LeRoi Jones and Ed Bullins at times have something different going but even their symbolism is straightforward stuff–-Miss Kennedy is weaving some kind of dramatic fabric of poetry” (NYT, Nov 1 1963) . To better understand the complexity of the structuring of the play Sleep Deprivation Chamber by Adrienne Kennedy I looked the question of how does the structure of Sleep Deprivation Chamber help us understand the nature of conflict? To answer this question I looked into the idea of what conflict is in a literary sense. As a child we learned of literary conflict in the sense of Freytags Pyramid; exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement. This flow of action was appropriate in regards to our level of thinking in our early years of questioning. Sadly in reality many times major conflicts in our lives are more complex than what could be charted on a diagram. Ms. Kennedys uses a fragmented...
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