Edward Albee's American Dream Essays

Edward Albee's American Dream Essays

Length: 1925 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...


... middle of paper ...


...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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Allegory in Edward Albee's The American Dream Essay

- Allegory in Edward Albee's The American Dream Our understanding of Edward Albee's achievement in The American Dream (1960) has come a long way since 1961 when Martin Esslin hailed it as a "brilliant first example of an American contribution to the Theatre of the Absurd"1 and 1966 when Nicholas Canaday, Jr. labeled it America's "best example of what has come to be known as 'the theatre of the absurd.'"2 The shrewdest assessment of absurdism in Albee is by Brian Way, who shows convincingly that, although Albee has successfully mastered the techniques of theatrical absurdism, he has nevertheless shied away from embracing the metaphysics that the style implies.3 That is, Albee knows that Thea...   [tags: Edward Albee American Dream Essays]

Strong Essays
3645 words (10.4 pages)

American Dream in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Essay

- In the final act of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Honey apologetically and drunkenly explains that she has peeled the label off her brandy bottle. To this, George replies, "We all peel labels, sweetie: and when you get through the skin, all three layers, through the muscle, slosh aside the organs, and get down to bone, you still haven't got all the way, yet. There's something inside the bone… the marrow… and that's what you gotta get at." In a play blending realism and absurdism, Edward Albee peels off the institutions and values that Americans held and hold dear, such as family, beauty, marriage, success, religion, and education....   [tags: Who's Afraid Virginia Woolf Essays]

Strong Essays
1881 words (5.4 pages)

The Sandbox, by Edward Albee Essays

- The Sandbox: An Analytical Research Essay The absurdity of the characters in Mr. Albee’s “The Sandbox” is necessarily apparent from the beginning of the play. The play’s length of less than 15 minutes is sufficient to ascertain that the audience need not be further abused by the presence of these caricatures of characters. The playwright captured the essence of Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma in such an efficient fashion that there can be no doubt he had rehearsed the play in his mind for some time before he put pen to paper....   [tags: Analysis, Research Essay]

Strong Essays
652 words (1.9 pages)

Who's Afraid of Edward Albee? Essay

- Who's Afraid of Edward Albee.      Edward Albee was considered the chief playwright of the Theater of the Absurd when his first successful one-act experimental plays emerged.  The Zoo Story, The Death of Bessie Smith, The Sandbox, and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung were all released during Albee's thirties between 1959 and 1968 (Artists  1-2).  Edward Albee was born in the nation's capitol on March 12, 1928, and his career has brought him three Pulitzer Prizes over four decades, the first for A Delicate Balance in 1966 and the most recent in 1994 for Three Tall Women.  While Albee's original works established him as a leading voice in America's Theater of the Absurd, his more mature...   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Free Essays
1607 words (4.6 pages)

Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf by Edward Albee Essay

- History of the Drama Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf is famous absurd play written by Edward Albee. It was first performed on ocatobar in New York and it won the New York drama critics Circle award and the Tony Award for the season 1962-63 season. In American society it bought the major shakeup which was yet to be seen in the future. In the late 1960s economically as well as socially America was being homogenized through cold war, planned suburbs and fast food culture. Different voices like Albee came to the world in the late 1960s....   [tags: controversial playwrights, voices]

Strong Essays
1218 words (3.5 pages)

Biography of Edward Albee Essay

- Biography of Edward Albee Edward Albee burst onto the American theatrical scene in the late 1950s with a variety of plays that detailed the agonies and disillusionment of that decade and the transition from the calm Eisenhower to the turbulent 1960s. Albee became a serious dramatist dealing with serious but always relevant themes, primarily having to do with the predicament of humanity in a society with moral decay, as well as the conflict between reality and illusion. His work is considered to be unique, uncompromising, controversial, elliptical, and provocative....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
692 words (2 pages)

Edward Albee Essay

- Edward Albee was born in Washington, DC on March 12, 1928. When he was two weeks old, Albee was adopted by millionaire couple Reed and Frances Albee. The Albees named their son after his paternal grandfather, Edward Franklin Albee, a powerful producer who had made the family fortune as a partner in the Keith-Albee Theater Circuit. Young Edward was raised by his adoptive parents in Westchester, New York. Because of his father's and grandfather's involvement in the theatre business, Albee was exposed to theatre and well-known personalities throughout his childhood....   [tags: Biography]

Free Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Comparing Death of a Salesman and The American Dream Essay

- Comparing Death of a Salesman and The American Dream     In Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman and Edward Albee’s The American Dream, Willy Lowman and Mommy possess the trait of superficiality. Their priorities are to look good and be liked, and this contributes to their misguided paths to reach success. This attribute is one of many societal criticisms pointed out by both authors. Arthur Miller criticizes society for perceiving success as being liked and having good looks. He illustrates society’s perception through Willy, who thinks the keys to success are being popular and attractive....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Flaws in the American Dream in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Death of a Salesman

- ... Meanwhile Honey realizes that she is in fact not pregnant and it was all a result of hysteria. Martha seduces Nick, while George reads his book in a calm manner, however the when Martha and Nick head upstairs, George violently discards the book and declares the child dead. In the last act Martha has a soliloquy about their relationship, calling the guests to the living room afterwards. George rings a bell and arrives with a bouquet of snapdragons, which according to George, are "Flores para los muertos" meaning flowers for the dead in English....   [tags: success, struggle, deception]

Strong Essays
733 words (2.1 pages)

Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Essay

- Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Edward Albee was an American playwright producer and director. He was born on March 12, 1928 probably in Virginia. He was adopted at an early age, which influenced him to write about characters that are different. His writings were characterized by realism; fidelity to life as perceived and experienced, and were considered to be absurd dramas. Albee, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, portrays a primitive sex struggle between a middle aged couple; the relationship between George and Martha is acted out in a series of games in which one sex dominates the other through unapparent love, weapons that each have mastered, and the most hurtful insult,...   [tags: Edward Albee Afraid Virginia Woolf Essays]

Strong Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)