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What is the theme of the story "The Sandbox" by Edward Albee?

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zuni | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 15, 2009 at 1:02 PM via web

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What is the theme of the story "The Sandbox" by Edward Albee?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 15, 2009 at 1:23 PM (Answer #1)

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It's an interesting and very uniquely done play that is overall a commentary on the impact of death in people's lives.  The Mommy and Daddy characters seem to be not impacted whatsoever by the Grandmother's death.  They walk away from her death unscathed, after they had impatiently waited for her to die for quite some time.  Even the character who plays death seems to be trivial and inconsequential; a bumbling comedic character that takes the sting out of what he has come to do.

Taking all of these things into account, one of the major themes of the play is the hypocrisy and emptiness of many people as they wait for a "loved one" to die.  Often, we have felt no connection to that person, or have been cruel and unkind to them in their life.  Then to be all of a sudden concerned, watchful, and caring at their deathbed smacks of insincerity and hypocrisy.  This is seen in the characters of Mommy and Daddy, and in the glib nature of the Angel of Death.

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