Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf Analysis

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A couple has been trying to make a family for many years. Being a mother is the only thing in the world that would keep the woman sane. She is told that she can never have kids of her own. In another scenario, a husband only married his wife because he thought she was pregnant. It turned out to all be in her head; however, she would forever strive to be a mother. Both couples struggle with the reality of infertility. In his play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee utilizes dysfunctional couples in order to highlight the effect of disillusionment in the 1950s-1960s. Examining Edward Albee’s life presents information that shows how his experiences motivated the writing of his play. Albee was born Edward Harvey on March 12, 1928 in…show more content…
has become a “central work in the contemporary American theatre (“Who’s,” Drama 361). Moreover, it was also his first play to appear on Broadway and is considered his greatest dramatic accomplishment (“Who’s,” Drama 361). According to C.W.E. Bigsby, “Each [person]...reacted against the play as though it were an absurdist account...For a number of critics the play’s upbeat ending was seen as callous and sentimental” (149). Moreover, “[t]he play quickly developed a reputation as one of the most challenging works of the contemporary American theatre, even if some critics faulted it as morbid and self-indulgent” (“Who’s,” Drama 362). Evidently, the play has been received with mixed emotions. While the play’s reception was not necessarily as positive as desired, it reflected Albee’s main goal: to take the audiences out of their comfort zones. Due to his effectiveness in achieving said goal, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has also received many awards, including the New York Drama Critics’ Award (1962), a Tony Award for Best Play (1963), the Foreign Press Association Award (1963), the Antoinette Perry Award (1963), the Outer Circle Award (1963), the Saturday Review Drama Critics’ Award (1963), the Variety Drama Critics’ Poll Award (1963), and the Evening Standard Award (1964) (Gallagher). In addition to portraying a couple estranged from reality, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? expresses the unconventional life and…show more content…
As the story winds down, George and Martha find themselves in another argument, this one about who actually is an unfit parent, and then verbally bashing each other over what the other said. This leads to George concocting the rest of their son’s story, which includes a tale about how when driving, he [the son] swerved to avoid a porcupine and hit a tree, killing him. Martha screams at George about how he is not allowed to do this. George disagrees, as it is only part of the game (Albee 238-252). Earlier in the plotline, George tells Nick a story of a 15 year old boy he once knew, who had “accidentally” killed his mother with a shotgun. The boy then went for drinks with George and his friends. George then proceeds to tell Nick about how, the following summer, the boy was in a car accident; he swerved to avoid hitting a porcupine and hit a large tree. After treatment in the hospital, the child was placed in an asylum (Albee 105-107). Albee uses intense language and forceful conversation to connect these two illusions; he made sure to include precise details, in order to add the necessary effect to his words. Another theme Albee commonly reflected on was self doubt: “There is, perhaps, a suggestion here of self-doubt on the part of a writer who distrusts not only the devalued language of public exchange but

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