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You Cant Take It With You

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									You Can’t Take It With You
English Language Arts 20-2
Unit Two

Introduction
• allusions
• characters
• setting
• plot
                 You Can’t Take It With You
Allusions
An allusion is one of the richest and most demanding literary devices.
   Meaning “reference”, it calls on the vast wealth of history, religion,
   literature, and mythology. It rewards readers in direct proportion to
   their background knowledge by referring to ideas and things they
   recognize. The magic of allusion is its shorthand. A single name –
   Bin Laden, Lewinsky, Joe Millionaire, Austin Powers - can trigger a
   host of associations, as can a brief word or phrase – consider 911,
   Survivor, collateral damage.

Throughout You Can't Take It With You, you will come across many
   allusions. You may be familiar with some, while with others you may
   draw a complete blank. Click on the links in the lessons to explore
   these allusions in more detail. They will enable you to better
   understand the play and the world of the 1930's.
                  You Can’t Take It With You

It's OK to dream.
And if you are truly daring, go ahead and follow them.

That's the joyous message of You Can't Take It With You, the Pulitzer
Prize winner for Best Play 1936. So don't be stressed by today's rat race,
consider life as Grandpa Vanderhof, the proud patriarch of the play's
wacky Sycamore clan, defined it in the 1930s.
                  You Can’t Take It With You

Grandpa Vanderhof walked away from his Wall Street job and simply
kept walking. Now, some years later, Grandpa fills his days by collecting
snakes and frequenting commencements at nearby Columbia University.
His daughter, Penny Sycamore, spends her days writing bad plays on a
typewriter accidentally delivered to their house and never returned to its
rightful owner. Penny's husband, Paul, makes fireworks in the basement
with help from his assistant, Mr. De Pinna, a gentleman who delivered ice
seven years ago and forgot to leave. The Sycamore clan also includes
Penny and Paul's two daughters, Essie and Alice. Essie makes candy
and practices ballet to the xylophone accompaniment of her husband, Ed
Carmichael, who also operates a printing press out of the family home.
                  You Can’t Take It With You
Finally, there's Alice, the sole "normal" member of the family. A secretary
at a prestigious Wall Street firm, Alice falls in love with her millionaire
boss' son, Tony Kirby. Complications occur when the couple arranges for
their families to meet and Tony brings his parents to a dinner party at the
Sycamore's one night earlier than planned. A riotous evening, complete
with a chaotic confrontation and actual fireworks, ensues when the Kirbys
 meet the unprepared Sycamores. In addition to being wildly entertaining,
 You Can't Take It With You offers an inspiring thought - go ahead and
pursue your dreams, it's a lot healthier and less stressful. This
ageless message has touched audiences who've enjoyed this often-
produced classic throughout the years. Grandpa Vanderhof put it best:
"Life is kind of beautiful, if you just let it come to you."
                    You Can’t Take It With You

 Martin Vanderhof      Rheba                       Donald
- Grandpa              - housekeeper, cook         - Rheba’s boyfriend
Penelope Sycamore      Mr. De Pinna                Alice Sycamore
- Martin’s daughter    - former ice deliveryman,   – youngest daughter
                       now helps with fireworks    Tony Kirby - son
Paul Sycamore          Boris Kolenknov             Mr. Kirby
- Penny’s husband      - Essie’s dance teacher     Mrs. Kirby
Elsie Carmichael       Gay Wellington              Henderson
- eldest daughter      - a drunken actress         - IRS agent
Ed Carmichael          Olga Katrina                Department of Justice
- Elsie’s husband      - grand duchess/waitress    - three agents
                         You Can’t Take It With You
At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before we realize that if
they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful
people are the unhappy Kirbys. The plot shows how Tony, attractive young
son of the Kirbys’, falls in love with Alice Sycamore, and brings his parents to
dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by the
 Kirbys, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with
    Tony
 is out of the question. The Sycamores, however, though sympathetic to Alice,
 find it hard to realize her point of view. Meantime, Tony, who knows the
Sycamores are right and his own people wrong, will not give her up. Nothing
has been said as of yet in regards to the strange activities of certain members
of the household involved in the manufacture of fireworks, or to the printing
press set up in the parlour, or of Rheba the maid and her friend Donald, or of
Grandpa's interview with the tax collector when he decides that he does not
believe in income tax, or why the Grand Duchess of Russia, Olga Katrina, has
been seen in the Sycamore kitchen making blintzes.
                  You Can’t Take It With You

A Comedy In Three Acts
    Act I - a Wednesday evening, in two parts.
    Act II - a week later.
    Act III - the next day.

The play is set in the home of Martin Vanderhof, New York, 1938.
(Keep in mind that during this point in history, the world was still in the
midst of an economic depression and on the threshold of World War II.)


Refer to the "Course Notes Topic" of the ELA 20-2 Discussion Board to
  download and print off a copy of the stage setting for this play.
                    You Can’t Take It With You

•   Will Mr. Kirby come to his senses and make amends with the Sycamores?
•   Will Tony and Alice marry and live happily ever after?
•   Will the IRS ever get Grandpa to pay his lifetime's worth of income tax?
•   The answers to all these questions, as well as explosions, togas, drunk
    women, acting, limericks, snakes, kittens, blintzes, ballet, and fireworks
    are all a part of You Can't Take It With You.

• You will find your copy of You Can't Take It With You on pages 200-271
  of On Stage 2. Use Lesson Three to guide your thinking as you read
  through the play.

• Enjoy your reading!!

								
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