Where do you feel that there is a "breakdown in communication" in The Iceman Cometh? Required for an essay to be written.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It begins in Act 2, Part 1 when the illusions of the characters begin to erode. They're coming face to face with truths that their pipe dreams and their alcoholism has prevented them from facing. Not only have they avoided facing truths about their pasts, but also about their dreams of the future. Holding on to pipe dreams is the only way these characters, and by thematic extension, humanity as a whole, can survive. If they didn't have them, they'd be forced to face the truth about themselves, a circumstance that leads to unhappiness. In the case of Hickey, who is also confronted with the truth, it leads to his insanity. All of this refers back to the point first made by Larry in Act 1, Part 1, that the truth is irrelevant. These characters all lead lives of avoidance of the truth, and as such, are able to survive. It is when the characters must confront the differences between their illusions and reality that communication breaks down.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial