A Brief Analysis of Marsha Norman's Night Mother

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Marsha Norman’s ‘night, Mother illustrates a central point about the nature of what creates drama in a play: the anticipation of an outcome. In this case, that means that Mama, and the story's audience, learns early on of Jessie's plans. And because of learning Jessie's plans, both Mama and the story's audience are thrust deep into the heart of this story's question: Will Jessie really kill herself, or can Mama find a way to …

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…who fails to set up the issue at the core of a story in a way that it connects with an audience risks assembling words and images that create characters and events to no particular dramatic purpose. By making what's at stake in a story clear and direct, the author frees themselves to begin the real task: Bringing an audience fully into and involved with the world a story's characters inhabit and seek to shape.