Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet

Start Your Free Trial

Who Can Be Trusted in Glengarry Glen Ross?

Expert Answers info

William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,416 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The salesmen in David Mamet's acclaimed play Glengarry Glen Ross are bilking the public by selling them land that could be completely worthless or worth only a fraction of what they paid. It is natural that such unscrupulous businessmen should behave the same way towards their colleagues.

Richard Roma seems to be above such chicanery. When he has his argument with Dave Moss he tells him, in effect, that they should all be pals and allies. It looks as if Roma and George Aaronow are at least honest with their co-workers. The others demonstrate by their behavior within the office that they know this is a dog-eat-dog world and they are going to be the dog that eats rather than the dog that gets eaten.

Dave Moss tries to exploit George Aaronow by involving him in a plot to burglarize the office and steal the coveted Glengarry leads. We later learn that Moss exploited Shelly Levene's financial distress by getting him to commit the crime after Moss apparently realized that Aaronow would not cooperate or would not make an effective burglar.

John Williamson, the office manager, intends to exploit Shelly Levene by selling him "the good leads" for fifty dollars apiece plus twenty percent of any commissions. Later Williamson will trick Shelly into confessing that he burglarized the office by pretending that he won't tell if Shelly confesses. Then when Shelly admits the truth, Williamson goes directly to Baylen the investigating cop.

Levene betrays Dave Moss and also betrays Jerry Graff, who could go to prison for knowingly receiving stolen property. George Aaronow so far has not betrayed Dave Moss for suggesting the burglary to him earlier, but he could get around to it if Moss brought Aaronow's name into it, as he had threatened to do.

Mitch and Murray, of course, are exploiting the entire sales staff and trying to exploit the general public. Moss is referring to them when he says: "I'll go in and rob everyone blind and go...

(The entire section contains 678 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial