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Chasing a Dream: The Formulation of American Identity in the Plays of Edward Albee

by Kittredge, James.

Abstract (Summary)
Edward Albee’s late-career plays contain realistic characters who struggle to create identities for themselves in an America still clinging to misbegotten cultural ideals of the 1950s (e.g. power, money, the “perfect” family). This thesis seeks to give these relatively unexamined later plays the attention they deserve. Therein, Albee’s conception of the American Dream is defined through an analysis of essays on post-World War II American domestic social attitudes. The playwright’s biography is also examined. I then discuss Albee’s stylistic and thematic groundwork by way of criticism of several early plays (The Zoo Story, The American Dream, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), followed by original textual analysis of three later plays (Three Tall Women, The Play About the Baby, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?) in an attempt to uncover how Albee’s comment on American cultural mythology has changed since the beginning of his career. 6
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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