Edward Albees The American Dream as a Social Scream: Postmodernist Reading

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1209 Words
Date:  2021-06-01

Edward Albees The American Dream written in 1961 is one of the plays which is brilliant and unique, having a fantasy of the highest order that exclusively outlines a comic nightmare (Albee 3). It is a story told from one of the Americas dysfunctional families. Ideally, it serves as an attack on the wild startling tale of murder and morality to its complacent establishments that rocks the middle-class ethics on the real values, from the artificial and substitution values (Apache 29). The play criticizes the way of life in America despite the fact that it is not the actual way of life led by the American citizens (Bottoms 42). This paper presents the play from the perspective of a human scream based on the postmodernist reading. Besides, it will outline the themes in conjunction with the motifs portrayed in the game and not forgetting the allegory exhibited.

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Most critics argue out that the play depicts the collapsing of the nuclear family and its illusion. Also, its absurdist viewpoint which are indicators of the underlying reality (Bottoms 7). Based on the play "The American Dream" critics regard the game writer Edward Albee as the American leader and founder of the theater of absurd which is an outgrowth from postmodernism (Gainor 211). The comedy central points are; love, loss and the tolerance exhibited in limits of human nature, who they are in reality and the capacities to fully explore so as to realize their potentials in life. The play is peculiar although it is more of a comedy than a play. The characters, Daddy, Mommy, The Young man and Mrs. Barker, are directed into a string of hilarities that are complicated by the Grandma who plays quite a critical role. The writer seems to believe that the American dream has changed and that they currently highly value shallowness, good looks, and materialism (Way 11).


"The American dream."

It is personified by the young man a stereotype who is a self-centered, possess a clean cut and he remains incomplete although physically perfect. The same translates to an allegory of the American scene exemplified by the emasculated Daddy, sadistic Mommy, and the embittered Grandma (Clum 127). The American dream does not appear as the real life that one can lead but just possessions and persons. It is certainly strange in real life. From the reading, we can conclude that Albee specifically offers a sinister account regarding the American dream in which he imagines it to be a mask disemboweled of man's excesses (Albee 12).

Violence and Language

The play is more concerned with violence and language throughout. In this case, violence is explored by use of the absurdist moments that the critics celebrate most in the play. Grandma alternately outlines the violence in the social intercourse that gets staged against the old people like her (Albee 17). Furthermore, emasculation is another substantial evidence of violence. It is displayed as Mommy Assaults Daddy. The same gets explicated to what Albees most female characters do in almost all his plays. Other themes include defense, Grandmas epigrams and old people, and last but not least disfiguration and deformity (Albee 23).

To sum up, the American dream has an anticipation which is heavily allegorical of the later years to come. It constitutes the masterpiece of Edward Albee which got regarded as an early miniature. In the whole play, the play, it is an affirmation of the democratic humanism of the American Dream on the scientific materialism and the recent threats that are in operation (Albee 27). It is an expectation of the findings of the essentials which are an obsession and core to the American dream.

Works Cited

Albee, Edward. "About This GoatStretching My Mind. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005. 259-63. Print.

Albee, Edward. The Goat. 2002. The Norton Anthology of Drama. Ed. J. Ellen Gainor, Stanton B. Garner, and Martin Puchner. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2009. 1567-604. Print.

Albee, Edward. Which Theater Is the Absurd One? My Mind stretched". New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005. 5-13. Print.

Amacher, Richard E. Edward Albee. Boston: Twayne, 1982. Print.

Bottoms, Stephen J. Albees Monster Children: Adaptations and Confrontations. The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2005. 127-47. Print.

Bottoms, Stephen J. Introduction: The Man Who Had Three Lives. The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2005. 1-15. Print.

Critical Reception. Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Necessary Fictions, Terrifying Realities Matthew Charles Roudane. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990. 16-26. Twaynes Masterwork Studies 34. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Gainor, J. Ellen. Albees The Goat: Rethinking Tragedy for the 21st Century. The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee. Ed. Stephen J. Bottoms. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2005. 199-216. Print.

Way, Brian. Albee and the Absurd: The American Dream and The Zoo Story. Edward Albee. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. 9-27. Print

Albee, Edward. Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of American Literature. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 19-23. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Clum, John M. Albee, Edward. Conventional Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History in America. Ed. Marc Stein. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribners Sons, 2004. 45-46. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Godsey, Jeff. "Albee, Edward (b. 1928)." conventional Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States. Ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2009. 11-13. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

Harris, Wendell V. Morality, Absurdity, and Albee. 1964. Critical Essays on Edward Albee. Ed. Philip C. Kolin and J. Madison. Davis. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1986. 117-22. Print.

Theater of the Absurd. World History Encyclopedia. Ed. Alfred J. Andrea and Carolyn Neel. Vol. 19: Era 9: Promises and Paradoxes, 1945-Present. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011. 219-221. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.

The Theatre of the Absurd (Garden City), p. 227.

Albees The American Dream and the Existential Vacuum, South Central Bulletin, 26 (1966), p. 28.

Albee and the Absurd: The American Dream and The Zoo Story in American Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon Studies 10, ed. John R. Brown and Bernard Harris (London, 1967), p. 190.

Edward Albee, Which Theatre is the Absurd One? in American Playwrights on Drama, ed. Horst Frenz (New York, 1965), p. 170.

Appendix A: Speeches and Related Dramatic Situations in the play (found on page 99)

GRANDMA: Then it turned out it only had eyes for Daddy.

MRS. BARKER: For its Daddy! Why any self-respecting woman would have gouged those eyes right out of its head.

GRANDMA: Well, she did. That's exactly what she did.

In this case, grandma is recounting how mommy is progressively getting mutilated with her joy that is humble, as a result of the child they had acquired from the By-By adoption services some twenty years ago. The epitome of the worst mother who is almost like a terrorist, mommy will dismantle the bubble in the process of disciplining its real excuses and infertile desires. Mommy blinds the child as a result of its affection to the further due to jealousy and indignant character. Mommy is acting like a Terrorizer since she disrupts the bonds that are homo-social, son-father and the paternal relation with the family of the American. Ideally, the disfigurement of the child continuous from language disfigurement. Mommy ensures that the figure of speech literary come true ("it had only eyes for Daddy") and turns to the body. The eyes of the child are at fault in that particular moment. Mommy intentionally exacts "pound of flesh," so to speak. Her violence strikes both the body and the language

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Edward Albees The American Dream as a Social Scream: Postmodernist Reading. (2021, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/edward-albees-the-american-dream-as-a-social-scream-postmodernist-reading

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