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Introduction & Overview of Three Tall Women by Edward Albee

This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Three Tall Women.
This section contains 263 words
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Three Tall Women Summary & Study Guide Description

Three Tall Women Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Three Tall Women by Edward Albee.

Introduction

Critics have noted autobiographical elements in several of Albee' s plays, particularly Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962) and A Delicate Balance (1966). By his own admission, however, Three Tall Women is Albee's most intentionally autobiographical work to date.

The protagonist of the play, a compelling woman of more than ninety years old, reflects on her life with a mixture of shame, pleasure, regret, and satisfaction. She recalls the fun of her childhood and her marriage, when she had an overwhelming optimism for her future. Yet she bitterly recalls the negative events that resulted in regret: her husband's extramarital affairs, the death of her husband, and the estrangement of her gay son.

The woman's relationship with her son is the clearest indication that Albee was working through some troubled memories of his own in Three Tall Women. The playwright was raised by conservative New England foster parents who disproved of his homosexuality. Like the son in his play, he left home at eighteen. Albee admitted to the Economist that the play "was a kind of exorcism. And I didn't end up any more fond of the woman after I finished it than when I started it."

Besides exorcising some personal demons with the play, Albee regained some respect among New York theater critics. Many critics despaired that the playwright, who showed such promise during the 1960s and 1970s, had dried up creatively. In fact, Three Tall Women was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1994, as well as the Drama Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Circle awards for best play.

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This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Three Tall Women Study Guide
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Three Tall Women from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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