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What is the theme of Edward Albee's "The Sand Box"?

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dreamer1835 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 1, 2008 at 11:52 AM via web

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What is the theme of Edward Albee's "The Sand Box"?

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shaketeach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 2, 2010 at 2:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Perhaps the most important idea Albee is expressing in The Sandbox is the disintegration of the family unit.  In ages past, it was necessary for the family to stick together.  Houses would literally house several generations.  The young took care of the old.  The old were fonts of wisdom.  Age was respected.

In the play, Albee depersonalizes the family.  Instead of George and Martha, we have Mommy and Daddy and Grandma.  No names, just family function.  There is no warmth between any of them.

The sandbox represents the grave and as far as Mommy and Daddy are concerned, this is a good place for Grandma to die.

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted December 3, 2008 at 4:48 AM (Answer #2)

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A primary theme in "The Sandbox" and many of Albee's other plays is the question of how to express humanity in a world that is becoming more and more hardened. As the world becomes increasingly pessimistic, how are human beings supposed to express themselves? The dysfunction of family is also a theme in the play. Death is also an important theme in the play.

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