Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.


Susan Gigstad

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

Lou Williams


Lillian Hellman, one of America's foremost 20th century playwrights, wrote eight original plays with women as the central characters. These plays include The Children's Hour. Pays to Come. The Little Foxes. Watch on the Rhine. The Searching Wind. Another Part of the Forest. The Autumn Garden. and Toys in the Attic. Hellman's female characters fall into three basic categories · centered on their economic status: women with money and power, women trying to obtain money so they can have control over their own lives, and women without money who are usually ignored by other characters in the plays because of their lack of power. In her plays Hellman appears to state that women need money to be autonomous individuals, and although. she did not embrace feminism, the model for her characters is Hellman herself.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984 -- Characters -- Women
Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984 -- Criticism and interpretation
Women in literature



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University