Edward Albee's American Dream Essays

Edward Albee's American Dream Essays

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Daddy, in “The Ameican Dream,” is muted by a wife who only views him as a source of financial and emotional validation. Mommy claims, “I have the right to live off you because I married you, and because I used to let you get on top of me and bump your uglies; and I have the right to all your money when you die” (Albee 67). Here Albee illuminates how the commitment of marriage is reduced to a sexual-financial transaction. Daddy is less a man than a commodified husband. Daddy, during the course of the play, scarcely utters an original thought, rather he just acts as an echo of what would otherwise be Mommy’s shallow monologue. Their conversation is hollow. Mommy exclaims “... and so, I bought it” and Daddy repeats “and so you bought it” (Albee 59). When Daddy fails to reiterate what Mommy says she scolds him “What did I just say?” (Albee 59). In the play there are two instances where Daddy intones something other than accord with mommy. The first is when he asks Mommy to allow Grandma to stay up past noon. In second instance of Daddy’s weak defiance he wants to weigh “the pros and ...” of opening the door (73). Ellipses show his hesitance to even finish a thought that opposes his wife’s command. Mommy clips this conversation by refusing to argue and commenting on Daddy’s masculinity. Though his character seems submissively acquiescent to Mommy he does not try to provide more than a superficial validation of Mommy. He makes no effort to provide any insights for her. In the stage directions Albee instructs the performer to make Daddy “snap[...] to” as if he were sleeping and “toneless” when he listens to Mommy. Neither character invests in their spouse. This lack of relationship is reflected in their superficial...

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...ratives can be a path to self discovery, but also how it is entwined narratives of others stories (the stories of her mother and father) that create her own.
Literature is one of the most openended types of human communication. Readers know that they are anonymous and free of the judgement or attack of the author. Therefore the reader is at liberty to experience the ideas of the author in an unadulterated way. Through this venue authors explore the opposite of their art, non-communication. Bechdel, Albee, and Davis explore how capitalism supplants relationships, this in turn is manifested in speech. All communication is rooted in community. As relationships become periphery to work and commodity, language becomes degraded. Language is not a simple system of one to one signification. All communication and languge is dependent on human relationships.

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