THE INANIMATE CHARACTERS
SELECTED MODERN DRAMATISTS
SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL OF THE COLLEGE
OF EDUCATION/IBN-RUSHED/ UNIVERSITY OF
BAGHDAD IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF
ARTS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE
ELAF GANEM SALIH
ASST. PROFESSOR ABDUL-KARIM MUSIR
To My Dear Parents symbol of compassion
To My lover my husband symbol of love
To my heart my daughter
To My dear brothers and one sister
To the memory of my grandfather
To my great grandmother
To my cherished aunts
To friends of the happy days
I certify that this thesis entitled (Inanimate Characters in
Selected Modern Plays) has been prepared under my supervision
at the University of Baghdad / College of Education / Ibn-
Rushed as a partial requirement for the degree of Master of Arts
in English Literature.
In view of the available recommendation, I forward this
thesis for debate by the Examining Committee.
Chairman of the Department of English:
We certify that we have read this thesis (Inanimate
Characters in Selected Modern Plays) and as Examining
Committee, examined the student in its context, and in our
opinion it is adequate as a thesis for the degree of Master in Arts
in English Literature.
Approved by the Council of the College of Education/Ibn-
Rushed/University of Baghdad according to the Decision of the
Dean of the College
Chapter One: Introduction
I-I The Art of Writing Drama. 1
I-II The Inanimate Characters: Definition 6
I-III Inanimate characters as a symbolic 14
II-I Henrik Ibsen's Reputation and Contribution. 22
II- II Inanimate Characters in Henrik Ibsen's 33
A Doll's House.
III-I Tennessee Williams and the Memory Play. 61
III-II Inanimate Characters in Tennessee 68
Williams’ The Glass Menagerie.
IV-I The World of the Absurd Character. 98
IV-II Inanimate Characters in Samuel Beckett's 103
Abstract in Arabic
Inanimate characters (objects) share with the human
characters the significance in conveying the main theme in the
dramatic work. They are used by the modern dramatist
symbolically to state various aspects, conditions and beliefs of
the characters and the whole action of the play. Modern
playwrights animate the inanimate objects because the human
characters are depersonalized and disfigured in the modern
world. So, they invest this technique and charge it with various
meanings to help the audience in understanding the illogicality
and absurdity of the human characters.
The thesis studies the inanimate characters, and their role
beside the animate characters in communicating the main theme
of the play. It shows their contribution on the stage to convey this
theme to the audience.
The thesis is divided into four chapters. The first is an
introductory chapter divided into three sections. Section one
tackles the art of writing drama. Section two deals with the
definition of inanimate characters, and with their significance on
the stage. Section three deals with the use of the inanimate
characters as a symbolic technique by the dramatists. It shows
the symbolic implication of the use of these inanimate characters
on the stage.
Chapter two is divided into two sections. The first deals
with Henrik Ibsen's reputation and contribution, showing the use
of this technique in his school. Section two deals with the
inanimate characters in his play A Doll's House (1879). Chapter
three is divided also into two sections. The first deals with
Tennessee Williams's technique of the problem play. The second
deals with the inanimate characters in his play, The Glass
Chapter four is divided into two sections. The first deals
with the world of the absurd character. The second deals with the
inanimate characters in Samuel Beckett's play, Endgame (1958).
The conclusion sums up the findings of the study.