Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Power Struggles are very common is many marriages. In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee, the relationship or marriage between George and Martha is based in power. The power struggle between George and Martha has become the basis of their relationship. Their love has turned into hate. The only connection they have is through their insults and the series of games they play. The power struggle between George and Martha develops is reveled and is resolved through out the play.

At the start of Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the play starts out at two o'clock in the morning, with George and Martha hosting a few friends from the university upon Martha's fathers' request. The guests are Nick and Honey; Nick is new to the biology department, young, good looking, in good shape and clean cut and Honey is very petite, bland looking and not too smart. All four of them have a taste for alcohol, which ends up being the force that drives them all night.

There is a power struggle between Martha and George at all moments of their interaction. The fictional illusions they have created for other people to believe they are the perfect couple, is only to mask the discontent they have in their relationship. Each one of them wants to be the most powerful, to have the upper hand in the relationship. Both Martha and George seem to be afraid to communicate with each other in a sincere way. It is easier to be mean and hide their true feelings. Drinking heavily every day is their way of masking their true emotions from one another and from them selves. Martha is always ordering George around, to get her another drink, answer the door, pocking fun at the job George has and how Martha "wears the pants...

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... off; who can make me laugh, and I choke it back in my throat; who

can hold me, at night, so that it's warm, ... who can make me happy and I do not

wish to be happy, and yes I do wish to be happy... Some day...hah! Some

night... some stupid, liquor ridden night... I will go to far... and I'll either break

the man's back...or push him off for good...which is what I deserve" (191).

Martha's realization of the love and the power George has over her, gives her opportunity to change her ways. No more will George and Martha exist in a land of fantasy and make-believe. Martha fears the amount of reality involved in her life. She is afraid, and her being afraid of reality in her life, makes her want control. After this night, where their masks have been removed, they are now living in their reality, and there is no longer a need for one person to have control.
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