The Sandbox, by Edward Albee

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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. The impatience and hypocrisy displayed by Mommy and Daddy waiting for Grandma to die is callous and despicable. A review in the New Yorker, suggests the dedication of this play to Albee’s Grandmother was most likely not made lightly. He was estranged from his adoptive parents. (He reportedly remarked, “They weren’t very good about being parents, and I wasn’t very good about being a son.”) Through his portrayal of Grandma in both “The Sandbox” and “The American Dream” one can surmise he had more affection for her, than his parents.(Als). Indeed, it was Grandmother’s trust fund that was his sustenance until he became successful. Grandma makes her entrance on stage borne under her armpits by Mommy and Daddy, body stiff, legs drawn up and then dumped in the sandbox , she is babbling, “…..her voice a cross between a baby’s laugh and cry.” (Albee 1065). Daddy asks Mommy “Do you think. . . do you think she’s . . . comfortable?” Mommy replies, “How would I know?” (1066).Her incapacitated state shows the innocent helplessness of the newborn and the elderly alike. This suggests Mommy and Daddy’s reluctance to deal with an elderly parent or perhaps their child as well. The ill- treated Grandma in the play rec... ... middle of paper ... ...gel of Death and has come for her, and then gives her a kiss on her forehead. She compliments him on his efforts and the curtain closes to the sound of the Musician playing.(1069). The conclusion, consistent with the play and characters is bizarre.”Much of his most characteristic work constitutes an absurdist commentary on American life.” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). Works Cited Albee, Edward. "The Sandbox/ Play." Perrine's Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense. 10th ed. Boston, 2002. 1064-069. Print. Als, Hilton. "Orphans." The New Yorker 84.12 (2008). Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. Kolin, P. C. "Edward Albee." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 6th ed. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. Stasio, M. "ALBEE'S AGELESS DUO. Rev. of. The Sandbox Variety 7 Apr. 2008: Web. Research Library, ProQuest Web. 21 Feb. 201121 Feb. 2011

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