The Memorandum Essay

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Annette Petruso is a freelance author and screenwriter in Austin, TX. In the following essay, Petruso considers the odd ending to The Memorandum, discussing critical interpretations and giving an in-depth analysis of the characters involved.

One element of Vaclav Havel's satirical absurdist play The Memorandum has been the subject of much critical discussion: the ending. Its tone does not seem to fit the rest of the play. At the end, Josef Gross the managing director whose effort to get a memorandum translated from Ptydepe is constantly stymied will not help Maria, the translation center secretary, get her job back. She is fired because she translated the document for him, though it was against the rules, and was caught by the staff watcher (office spy), George. Instead Gross sends her on her way with a long speech in which he basically tells her that he cannot risk his job...

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This section contains 2,064 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Memorandum Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Memorandum from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.