In the Preface, Pirandello reports his final conclusion: And here is the universal meaning at first vainly sought in the six characters, now that, going on stage of their own accord, they succeed in finding it within them selves in the excitement of a desperate struggle which each wages against the other and all wage against the Manager and the actors, who do not understand them. 12 We now understand that the “truth” does not lie in the personality of the six characters or in their sad, sordid relation ship to each other, hut in their relation to a hostile world. It lies in their desire for immortality, their wish to justify them selves. This fulfillment is tragically denied to them. We also see that Pirandello, a highly original poet and thinker, has presented a unique kind of a dramatic conflict which, at least to a significant degree, is based on an aesthetic foundation. He has given a novel meaning to the old idea of a play within a play. Upon an intellectual framework he has constructed an artistically satisfying and stimulating drama. ^^Ibid.,
pp. 366 f.
1965, by Paul L. Frank