Mistaken Identity Crisis Builds Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Fiction With Drama

There are a number of similarities and differences existent between Sharon E. Cooper's "Mistaken Identity " and David Henry Hwang's "Mistaken Identity." Still, the most eminent of these pertains to the genre in which they were written. Both of these works are dramas, which makes them markedly different from other forms of fiction including poetry and fiction. An analysis of these two works reveals this fact, as does a comparison of the most distinctive factors between their genre, drama, and both fiction and poetry.

Thematically, Cooper and Hwang's works are highly similar. Both of them chronicle tales of relatively young people seeking to find their own identities. Moreover, they are attempting to find such identities in a world in which their preferred identities are largely unacceptable. In Cooper's work, the protagonist is coping to terms with her identity as a "lesbian" (Cooper). In Hwang's tale, both of his main characters are making self-conscious efforts to explore their identities in relationship to ethnicity and "race" (Hwang).. The critical difference in these works is thematic as well. In the former, the protagonist is seeking to validate her identity before her family -- she both does and doesn't want her brother to know she is a lesbian, and agonizes over "not being able to see her nieces"
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(Cooper) because of this fact. In Hwang's play, the characters are predominantly concerned with viewing their identities in relation to themselves and to the notion of the self in general. Nonetheless, the most conspicuous similarity between these works is the means by which they tell stories: through the dramatic format. As such, both works are characterized by an abundance of dialogue and a lack of narration that is frequently found in other works of fiction. This format gives these pieces a degree of relevance and colloquial character that aids in their depictions of postmodern identity searching.

Moreover, an examination of the aforementioned two works of drama helps to indicate how this format is different from poetry and fiction. It is worth noting that one can tell stories in all three of these genres: poetry can include the epic poetry genre which encompasses sprawling tales while fiction can include novels and short stories. Still, one of the chief distinctions between drama and the other two genres is that drama was always designed for presentation to live audiences. Thus, there is a communal element of this genre that is largely missing from the other two. When one is writing a play, one is considering the various effects that the work will produce on that live audience. In some ways, even, the audience can influence how a play is interpreted…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Cooper, Sharon. Mistaken Identity. New York: Vintage Publishing. 2008. Print.

Hwang, David. Trying to Find Chinatown: The Selected Plays of David Hwang. New York: Theater Communications Group. 1999. Print.

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