The Zoo Story By Edward Albee Essay

The Zoo Story By Edward Albee Essay

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In The Zoo Story, a one-act play written by Edward Albee, Albee describes an intense conversation that takes place between two different types of men spending time at Central Park. During a Sunday afternoon Peter, “a man in his early forties” (30), reads quietly while sitting on a park bench. Later, a man named Jerry interrupts Peter with random conversation. Jerry begins to ask Peter a series of personal questions that reveal certain characteristics and details about both characters. Analyzing their questions and responses reveals many qualities allows Jerry and Peter to be placed on psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid. However, they are placed into completely different levels. This shows that Peter and Jerry have many differences dealing with class and their personal needs.
Peter has the potential to obtain the self-esteem level due to the fact that he has experienced achievement and mastery through his career as a publisher. As Jerry continues to ask Peter multiple questions, one of them consist of “What do you do to support your enormous household?”(32). Peter replies, “I . . . uh . . . I have an executive position with a . . . a small publishing house” (32). Attaining an executive position in publishing textbooks is evidence that Peter has achieved mastery along with achievement. Although Peter fits part of the description to be put on the self-esteem level there is not enough confirmation to verify that Peter is respected or recognized for his position as a publisher.
Therefore, Peter belongs to the belonging – love category. To be considered part of the belonging – love category on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid, Peter must experience a life filled with friends, family, a spouse, or a lover. Pete...


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...yle he was raised to have. Jerry however, would be positioned higher up on the pyramid due to the fact that he has a successful job and was raised in an upper class lifestyle. Sadly, Jerry’s life had some unexpected turns and he did not have the privilege of being raised in a manner that Peter was raised.
Since Jerry and Peter live two completely different lifestyles they also get put into two dissimilar categories according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The series of questions Jerry ask Peter revolve around possessions and accomplishments. Even though Jerry wants to connect to Peter he cannot because they come from two different worlds. However, if Peter had the same lifestyle as Jerry he might have understood the meaning behind Jerry’s random rants and stories. Peter and Jerry are different because they occupy very different levels of the pyramid and of class.

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The Zoo Story By Edward Albee Essay

- In The Zoo Story, a one-act play written by Edward Albee, Albee describes an intense conversation that takes place between two different types of men spending time at Central Park. During a Sunday afternoon Peter, “a man in his early forties” (30), reads quietly while sitting on a park bench. Later, a man named Jerry interrupts Peter with random conversation. Jerry begins to ask Peter a series of personal questions that reveal certain characteristics and details about both characters. Analyzing their questions and responses reveals many qualities allows Jerry and Peter to be placed on psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid....   [tags: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow]

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