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Themes and characters are most often the key factors thatinfluence a writers work Most of the time the author has no controlover this influence This is clearly shown in Neil Simons play TheOdd Couple Not only is Simons own life depicted in his play butalso the lives of those close to him can be parallel to his work NeilSimons life is depicted in his characters and themes of his play TheOdd CoupleMarvin Neil Simon was born in the Bronx on July 4 1927 Hisfather Irving was a salesman in Manhattans garment district hismother Mamie worked in Gimbels department store The family moved toWashington Heights in northern Manhattan when Simon was youngIrving was an errant husband who occasionally abandoned the familyaltogether leaving Mamie a frustrated and bitter women alone to dealwith Neil and his older brother Danny Eventually the parents weredivorced and Neil went to live with relatives in Queens From anearly age he exhibited a quick wit and an active imagination Heloved films and was often asked to leave the theater for laughing toloud In high school Simon was sometimes ostracized as a Jew anexperience that would later inform his work Meanwhile he and hisbrother began collaborating on comedy material that they sold tostand-up comics and radio announcers Simon graduated from DeWittClinton High School in 1944 at the age of sixteenMagill2216He entered New York University under the US Army AirforceReserve Program Throughout his military career he wrote formany military newspapers Discharged in 1946 Simon took a job in themail room at Warner Brothers in New York where Danny worked in thepublicity department The brothers were soon hired to write forGoodman Ace of CBS and over the next decade they provided material formany popular comedians During the summers of 1952 and 1953 theywrote sketches for a professional acting company at Camp Tamiment inPennsylvaniaAt Camp Tamiment Simon fell in love with a young actress named JoanBaim and the couple was married on September 30 1953 Five yearslater
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