Susan Keating Glaspell: Close the Book

(1642 words)

Susan Glaspell's Close the Book, one of her lesser known plays, is a skilful satire. A simple and realistic one act, its importance relies on the criticism of narrow social codes, and the staging of the issue of the ethnic and racial Other.

Initially titled Family Pride, Close the Book is set in the Midwest, in the library room of the symbolically named Root family. This is a proud family of inheritors, descendants of the great men who founded the local university and of those pioneers who fought in the most significant wars: the American Revolution and the Civil War, as well as in the terrible confrontations with Native Americans. Their heritage has given the Roots a place in society that Glaspell p…

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Hernando-Real, Noelia. "Close the Book". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 August 2009
[, accessed 10 October 2015.]