Book #33: The American Dream, by Edward Albee

The American Dream

If you’re looking for a good example of Theatre of the Absurd, I’d say The American Dream is for you. I don’t have a ton of experience with Theatre of the Absurd, but this play of Albee’s is much more comparable with something like Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinocéros or other absurd plays than the other Albee works I’ve read. It’s a very quick read, but one that might leave you wondering what you just read. At least, that’s how I felt about it. The play only has five characters — Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Mrs. Barker, and Young Man — and nothing really happens except lots of dialogue amongst the characters. I’m assuming that I’ll understand more about this play when we discuss it in my class tomorrow, but for now, I can’t really make my mind up about it. There are certainly messages about life and death present, but Albee is true to the title of “absurdity” in this bizarre work.

Now, just one more Albee play (The Sandbox) to read tonight, and then I’m moving on. I think it’s fair to say that I’m learning and reading a lot this semester.


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