Glengarry Glen Ross

Topics: David Mamet, Symbol, Man Pages: 2 (457 words) Published: April 9, 2013
14 March 2013
Symbolism in “Glengarry Glen Ross”
Some people can be so engrossed in popularity that they forget individuality. The play “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David Mamet, holds many symbols that make the audience believe the salesmen aren’t really the men they say to be. Manhood to them must be earned with hard work; they do not see it as a word that is just given to them.

Manhood is earned not given, “A man’s his job.” The men in this play are not real men at all. Levene tells Williamson how “a man’s his job” and implies that since Williamson takes orders from Mitch and Murray all day, he isn’t a real man. Williamson, being the boss of everyone, should not have his employees see him as a child and not a man. Williamson’s name is a symbol for him being a boy. Having ‘son’ at the end of his name symbolizes that he is more of a boy than a man. To have the qualities of a child in the business work place is a downfall.

Although mentioned before, Shelly Levene is another character that symbolizes the opposite of manhood. Shelly is in this competition to get the money to help his sick daughter. He acts more of a childish girl than a man when he goes to steal the leads. Knowing he can’t win the competition, he acts in a way a child would instead of manning up and working harder to reach his goal. Not only is the way he acts childish and unmanly, but his first name being Shelly symbolizes a girls name. With Shelly Levene

having the childish qualities and the feminine name, he is just as less of a man as the rest of them.

Manhood is a word that these men take very seriously. With this competition, it is making these salesmen forget how to act and is causing them to do ridiculous stunts to be on top. Another symbol in this play that reflects feminine qualities is the second prize for the competition. First prize is a Cadillac while...
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