How do we tackle the vision of the Edward Albee in "The Zoo Story"? To what extent did Edward Albee succeed in transferring his vision to the audience? In other words, what are the means/tools...

How do we tackle the vision of the Edward Albee in "The Zoo Story"? To what extent did Edward Albee succeed in transferring his vision to the audience? In other words, what are the means/tools that the author/any author uses to tell the reader about his/her vision?

Asked on by haifaa

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gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, if we were going to assume that each playwright has a specific, unified vision, we could not find it in a single work. Instead, we'd look at the entire body of work, published and unpublished, and would look at unifying themes and techniques.
That said, there may be reasons why the play was first produced in Germany. The vision it gives of America is an outsider's view, and not a happy one or unified one. Through the choice to have extended talk with very little action, then an explosive conclusion, we see disintegration of word and deed, and even alienation. In the specific characters chosen, and the reasons they both talk and clash, we see a hollow life. If we have to conclude what Albee's vision is from this, then, we see an unhappy one, and one that is going to be intentionally somewhat disturbing to audiences. 

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spamhead1994's profile pic

spamhead1994 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

As good as your answer is the play was only first performed in Berlin because in New York it was thought of as absurd and no one could understand any of Albee's hidden messages. Therefore it was passed around Europe from friend to friend until finally it was performed in Berlin. Your point of the unhappy view however is spot on in my view. Albee clearly wanted to show that even a rich middle classed man could be brought down to a barbaric man if the circumstances are right. the play was recently performed at my school though i think parts were changed and i also got this feeling during the conclusion that Peter had gone through his entire life in a position of apparent power but was always pushed around but here he thought that for once he would stand up for himself yet he never truely wished for a physical confrontation to take place as it wasn't part of his world. however this may just have been the way it was acted at my school.

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