October 16, 2012
Edward Albee’s At Home At The Zoo/The American Dream
When comparing the similarities between plays “At Home At The Zoo” and “The American Dream”, one main common theme would be a dysfunctional family. However, with both plays come two different types of dysfunctional structures and how each family reacts from it. Playwright Edward Albee wrote both plays and are both written as a satire on the traditional American family. Albee himself has revealed that not only was he adopted, but that he never felt easy with his adoptive family. “I never felt comfortable with the adoptive parents. I don't think they knew how to be parents. I probably didn't know how to be a son, either”, states Albee. (Achievement.org) The disconnect between Albee and his family is expressed through his work. In the one-act play “The American Dream”, we are introduced to Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma who are in their apartment, waiting for “they” to arrive. When “they” finally arrive, secrets of Mommy and Daddy are revealed, while Grandmas’ hidden agenda comes into play. While “The American Dream” displays a very dysfunctional family who do not really have an emotional connection for one another, Albee’s “At Home At The Zoo” displays a dysfunctional yet loving family in the form of Peter and Ann. During the play, Peter and Ann try to communicate on their boring marriage and how it wasn’t always that way before they met one another. Having read through both plays, it is clear that Albee has expressed his values on family based from his own experiences and believes that no matter how it may look on the outside, there are always problems and difficulties lying inside.
Written in 1960, “The American Dream” tells the story of Mommy and Daddy, who are waiting for the arrival of their company. We are also introduced to Grandma who also lives with them. There is an interesting dynamic between the three of them, as Mommy seems to be the...