John Howard Lawson grew to maturity without the comfort of a parent's affection. His early educational experiences made a permanent impression on his consciousness. Writing plays may have been intellectually, creatively, and alcoholically stimulating, but at his level, it was far from being exceedingly profitable. Almost instantaneously, Lawson's drama became associated with the nascent school of expressionism, then gaining popularity in Europe. Before Roger Bloomer, Lawson was a “cipher,” but “now it was taken for granted that sooner or later [he] would become an important person in the theatre establishment.” The confusion that Processional represented was symptomatic of the floundering of Lawson himself—a man of no small material means who was becoming ever more critical of the system that had produced this wealth, a man with a felt desire for emotional engagement but who found it difficult to maintain a loving relationship with a woman.
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