Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Kairouan

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    The Sandbox


    Number of posts : 2
    Registration date : 2008-02-24

    The Sandbox

    Post by RIMA BEN AYED on Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:40 pm


    The sandbox by Edward Albee is a play that conveys an underlying message of elderly care, senility and death. The characters of the play each take on a personal outlook and each with a roll in life. The play is hard to understand. Each person has to pull out his or her own meanings.

    Pointing out the dysfunctional family, Edward Albee begins his non-direct approach to the subject of death and burial. The characters Mommy and Daddy are husband and wife they paint a picture of a typical bossy older woman and a submissive husband. “Mommy” has

    . . .
    Her daughter took her in after she married and the grandma lived with them until she died. the chore of caring for her own mother.

    After the Mommy and Daddy place the grandma in the sandbox they just sit and wait for her to die.

    The grandma seems to be old, fragile, senile and difficult to care for. All are connected with getting old, death and burial. The young man lets grandma know her time has come to die. Albee’s silly way of presenting this play, we still see the symbolism of the characters and props in the play. This symbolizes her death and burial. She was married young, raised a family and worked on a farm.

    The young man in the story represents the angel of death. But we are faced to look down memory lane and see what type of life grandma had. Smile bounce

    Number of posts : 129
    Age : 31
    Localisation : kairouan
    Registration date : 2007-12-03

    Re: The Sandbox

    Post by ibtihel on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:52 pm

    Symbolic Self-Awareness of The Sandbox's Characters

    Through his one-act play The Sandbox, Edward Albee has extended the allegory; his characters not only exist as symbols, but are more than vaguely aware of themselves as such. As caricatures rather than characters, they maintain a consciousness of their presence on stage as well as the stereotypical rules and emotions they are meant to display. Specifically through Mommy and Daddy's vacuous and immediate shifts to "appropriate" attitudes, Edward Albee issues his value statement. In effect, Shakespeare's assessment that "All the world's a stage,/And all men and women merely players" has been reanalyzed and extended by Albee, culminating in a work which declares the conventional conception of death as affected and contrived.

    Almost deceiving in its straightforwardness is the opening note on Mommy and Daddy and the "pre-senility and vacuity of their characters." Daddy's ensuing questions as to what is to be done, and Mommy's resulting composed answers set in motion the implication of an end-of-life ritual whose spiritual meaning has long since passed away. At one point, Daddy asks Mommy if they should conduct a conversation. Mommy responds, "Well, you can talk, if you want to...if you can think of anything to say...if you can think of anything new." Daddy's rejoinder in the negative establishes early on that his and Mommy's existences, and therefore actions, are hackneyed, artificial, mundane, and devoid of any true, personal meaning.

    By the air of preparation which pervades the play, and by Grandma's death in the end, a connection is made, and The Sand Box is duly noted as Albee's address on custom surrounding the coming of life's passing. The creation of an W W W W W W in which the actors are aware of their presence of stage breaks ground for Albee's take on society's engagement in role-playing. Requesting appropriate background music, and making remarks on lighting, Albee's characters cannot escape discredit regarding the genuine. Similarly, Albee greets the close advance of death with the suitable stereotypes of sudden darkness, violin playing, "a violent off-stage rumble," and Mommy's brief tears.

    Inevitably, the sincerity of Mommy and Daddy has been cast in doubt and all subsequent words and actions bear resemblance to conventions. In a remarkable shift of attitude, Mommy declares to Daddy: "Our long night is over. We must put away our mourning..." They do so by gazing at an inanimate Grandma and casually observing how "It's hard to be sad... she looks... so happy." Mommy's hesitation, and Albee's exclusion of a stage note recommending a serenely content-in-death Grandma, indicate the affected nature of Mommy's statement, and inherently, that of The Sand Box, as a whole.

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