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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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Introduction

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? English Essay Edward Albee was born in 1928. Throughout his life he has written and directed some of the greatest plays in contemporary theatre, such as the famous and shocking comedy of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.' The play itself was first performed in New York in October of 1962, and it captured the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Ever since its debut the play has been widely praised and criticised. The play stunned and pleased American audiences, which seemed to provide a vital insight into American life. In 1961 John F. Kennedy had just become the president of the United States and it was the decade leading up to 1962 when 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' was first premiered. It was the height of period when Americans in general stood behind the belief in the American Dream that hard work, courage, and determination would lead a nation to prosperity. In addition Edward Albee confirmed that the title of the play means "who's afraid of the big bad wolf" or who's afraid of living life without illusions. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Is set in a small American University on the East Coast. It is concerned with the events of one night, during which two couples stay up drinking after a party. ...read more.

Middle

This hints at the facts that she also wants him to be her lover but nothing else. As you can distinguish the arguments between George and Martha, shows the kind of relationship they have. It indicates also that a quarrelsome tone is habitual between them and that they criticise each others faults without restraint. Furthermore, at the beginning of Act Three, Martha tells Nick about her true feelings for George, despite appearances, he is the only man who has ever made her happy. "There is only one man in my life who has ever ...made me happy? Do you know that? One!" Some critics would refer to this part of the play as a moment of Martha's weakness, confiding in Nick with her true feelings for George, being the only man for her. However, you can also conclude from this point that there is a positive core of feeling in their relationship, as Martha's confession shows that she really does love George. This can be seen as a turning point in the play, as it may come across to the reader that their 'fun and games' are over, and that the war has ended between the couple. On the other hand Nick doesn't believe what Martha is telling him, about George being the only man who has ever made her happy. ...read more.

Conclusion

what?... twelve? You hear that, George?" This quote illustrates that Martha is flirting and is complimenting Nick, in front of George to undermine him. In Act Two, George suggests a further 'game', called 'Hump the Hostess,' referring to Nick and Martha's flirtation. Martha goes out into the kitchen, to make love with Nick. However, when she leaves George gets furious, and shows how he really feels by flinging the book away. Their following source from the play supports George's true feelings. "(He laughs. Briefly, ruefully...rises, with the book in his hand. He stands still...then, quickly, he gathers all the fury he has been containing within himself...he shakes...he looks at the book in his hand and, with a cry that is part growl, part howl, he hurls it at the chimes. They crash against one another, ringing widely.)" This source shows that the game has gone on long enough that George allows Martha to flirt with Nick, but when Martha is not around, he no longer plays the game, as his true feelings come out. There is one 'game' in particular that truly affects their marriage of George and Martha. The 'son' they invent is a symbol of many things. For both, the idea of their own child symbolizes maturity and adulthood. Some critics may think it represents their desire to grow up and leave behind the painful memories of their own childhoods by becoming parents themselves. The child may even be seen as the projection through which they work through their conflicting desires and feelings about themselves and each other. ...read more.

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