Representative Works from Absurdism

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The American Dream

A long one-act play by Edward Albee, The American Dream (1961) targets the artificial values of family life and features plot events that are not only absurd, but grotesque. The main characters are Daddy, who is weak and ineffectual, and Mommy, who is domineering and cruel. All relationships in the play are governed by material considerations. When the couple adopts a baby, or their "bumble of joy" as they call him, they are actually buying him. Mommy and Daddy gradually destroy the baby as they discover he is less than perfect, depriving him of eyes, hands, tongue, sexual organs— every possible means of communicating with others. When the baby dies, the couple frets over the loss of their investment, regretting that he's already been paid for. Albee also uses humor in The American Dream to attack the phony language and stage cliches of sentimental theatrical productions...

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This section contains 1,595 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Absurdism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.