Young Man from Atlanta

ISBN-10: 0822214830
ISBN-13: 9780822214830
Edition: 1995
Authors: Horton Foote
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Description: THE STORY: In her review of the play, Marian Burkhart explains the story: In THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA, a kind of elected ignorance has skewed the past and narrowed the future, for the Kidders, Lily Dale and Will. The two are attempting to cope  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.00
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1995
Binding: Paperback
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.198
Language: English

THE STORY: In her review of the play, Marian Burkhart explains the story: In THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA, a kind of elected ignorance has skewed the past and narrowed the future, for the Kidders, Lily Dale and Will. The two are attempting to cope with the death of their only son, Bill, who, unable to swim, walked into a lake in Florida and drowned. Lily Dale takes refuge in religion. She persuades herself that Bill's death, in spite of its circumstances, was an accident. At the prompting of Randy, the 'Young Man from Atlanta,' who, though he never appears, is nonetheless the catalyst of the play's action, believes as well that her son lived in the faith she herself professes. Will is made of tougher stuff. He acknowledges his son's suicide and wants none of Lily Dale's pseudo-comfort. But he has his own illusions, a belief that a hard-working, competitive, optimistic all-American go-getter like himself can triumph by achieving 'the best and the biggest,' and that the best and the biggest house in Houston, into which he has sunk his savings, can paper over the bitterness of Bill's death. But he discovers that his job, the center of his life and his pride, is no longer his and that his kind of competitiveness cannot get him the bank loan he needs to start his own business. He discovers that his wife has not only communicated with the Young Man, as he has forbidden her to do, but has given Randy some $50,000 to 'tide him over.' This discovery only intensifies the pain of a previous realization that his son gave the Young Man money also. And he discovers the strength and endurance of his own body, which he has trusted as he has trusted his wife, has let him down, too, for he suffers a heart attack. This shattering of his life's facade compels him to realize that his life's core is an illusion. His single-minded pursuit of the American dream has left his wife not only childish but lonely, and it has denied him his son. Will chooses not to ask the Young Man why his son gave him the money. He does not want to know. Will and Lily Dale are reconciled. She will teach music. He will work at the lesser job his former boss offers him, and she will obey him, he hopes, even though she will cling to Randy, who for her, no matter what she now knows, is 'the sweet boy' who comforted her. 'Everything will be all right,' Will tells his wife. He will settle for what is merely 'all right' because the 'the best and the biggest' is as empty as the Young Man's lies.

Horton Foote was born in Wharton, Texas on March 14, 1916. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in California for two years before going to New York and joining Mary Hunter's American Actors Company. While there, he wrote a one-act play called Wharton Dance. After that, he continued to pursue acting and appeared in a few other plays, but primarily focused on writing. After World War II, he moved to Washington D. C. to run the King Smith School with Vincent Donehue. While he was there, he opened the King Smith Theater to all races, the first integrated audiences in the nation's capital. In addition to plays, he wrote for television and film. He was one of the writers for The Gabby Hayes Show on NBC. He wrote numerous plays including The Chase, The Carpetbagger's Children, and The Orphans' Home. He wrote numerous screenplays for movies including Baby, the Rain Must Fall and The Trip to Bountiful. He won the Pulitzer Prize for The Young Man from Atlanta and two Academy Awards for To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies. He died on March 4, 2009 at the age of 92.

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