Destruction of Landscape by the Forces of Commercial Industrialism in Maxwell Anderson’s play, High Tor

Gholamreza Samigorganroodi

Abstract


This study examines Maxwell Anderson’s play High Tor that is an aesthetic engagement with nature and dramatizes Anderson’s environmental sensibilities. The play is a satirical fantasy in verse loaded with allusions, symbolism and philosophical meditation, dramatizing the end of America’s pioneering tradition. High Tor refers to a mountain overlooking the Hudson River, only a few miles away from Anderson’s home in New City in the district of New York. The name derives from Celtic lore and means a sacred and holy place where people commune with the gods. The area where High Tor stands is steeped in history, legend and the supernatural. There are many accounts of ghosts haunting this historical mountain and the surrounding areas. In this play, Anderson makes use of the aura of mystery surrounding this region to dramatize the story of the protagonist, Van Dorn, and his struggle against the advancing forces of industrialism and materialism that threaten his independence and the pioneering values, pastoral tradition and the Arcadian beauty of the American wilderness. Keywords: American drama, the Great Depression, environment, American pastoral tradition, individualism

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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