Purity of Spirit In Archibald MacLeish’s J.B.

A detailed look the play by MacLeish.

This is a paper about Archibald MacLeish’s `J.B.` a post-WWII verse play. The author looks at the play in-depth. MacLeish displays the main character’s purity of spirit through his relationships with his children, his wife and his friends. While others around him falter as their world crumbles, J.B. is able to maintain his purity.
Since the beginning of time, a troubling enigma has plagued mankind. Man has always asked his God why humanity must be stricken with suffering. If God is a fair and righteous God, then why does He punish us for paradoxical reasons? Some have concluded that human suffering is due to unholy sin, while others believe sin to be one small step in God’s ultimate plan in one’s life. Others determine that God reveals one’s true character by testing them. Great philosophers and scholars have debated this distressing issue for centuries. This topic has been fully explored in all areas of life, especially in the written word. Literature’s dominant theme is usually about human suffering in some form or another, whether it be the Book of Job in the Old Testament or Dostoyevsky novels or soap operas (Corliss 75). Archibald MacLeish, a noted American poet and playwright, explores human suffering in most of his works. However, his post-World War II verse play, J.B., fully searches the topic (Adler 128).