The Effect of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds

Zindel, Paul. The Effect of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds. New York: Bantam Book, 1970. Paul Zindel's Pulitzer Prize Winning Play is an examination of family dynamics. Single mother Beatrice never really recovered from her shyness and shame in growing up; and now she visits that pain on her two daughters. As they try to grow beyond her, she holds them back through her own inability to cope. The play is a little too short to hold much weight, and it is difficult to tell if it's meant to be hopeful or depressing. Perhaps the message is that  the harshness of the mother is like that of radiation on marigold seeds: it could produce something monstrous or could produce something new and beautiful. But you won't know until you plant the seeds.