In a crowded dark room live the dregs of Russian society: a thief, a prostitute, her pimp, and several other criminals and outcasts. The general humdrum drama of their lives goes on as they get into fights, have disagreements, counsel one another over their losses, and so on. Luka, an idealistic spiritual sort, finds his way into the group, and starts to spread his message of hope and positive thinking. This spurs the plot along a bit, because many in the group are hard-bitten realists who have no truck with faith or hope. This is a fine play by Maxim Gorky. Gorky doesn't have the number of famous plays that someone like Henrik Ibsen or George Bernard Shaw does. In fact, he might be better known for his memoir of his childhood than for this play. Nevertheless, The Lower Depths is a great play. The gritty element described in the play makes it seem much more like a modern play than the 1902 publication date would indicate. The realistic dialogue and streetwise characters make it hard to put down. ken32
14 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?