Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Satirical, Darkly comic
The Chairs is in many ways scathingly satirical, skewering the idea that human beings have some greater purpose in life. When the Old Man's dreams all come to nothing at the end of the play, we're forced to ask ourselves if anyone's dreams ever really come true, to wonder whether any of our lives have a greater purpose or meaning. Of course, there are tons of laughs along the way. Like many absurdist plays, The Chairs manages to find humor in the idea that we all live and die for absolutely no reason.