Search Menu

American Dream

Edward Albee

Contents

Mommy

Mommy

An archetypal "bad mother", Mommy is the household's sadistic disciplinarian, dismissing Grandma and infantilizing Daddy at every turn. She recalls a number of other of Albee's female characters, most notably Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Like Martha, Mommy's speech distinguishes itself as the most violent in the household in its strident tone, its exaggerated sarcasm, its shrillness, its scorn and derision. As Grandma makes clear, Mommy is a deceitful gold-digger who has married Daddy for his money. Her sadism runs almost entirely unchecked—certainly one of the most disturbing aspects of Albee's theater is its characters' violently infantile behavior. At some level, the play leaves the spectator enthralled with Mommy's violence; the effect is generates is a masochistic submission to her rage.

As household disciplinarian, Mommy emasculates Daddy relentlessly, mocking his aspirations, ridiculing his manliness with her encouragement, prompting and repeating his speech in a patronizing fashion, terrorizing him into obedience, and onward. She also of course mutilates the couple's first child—the so- called "bumble of joy"—in the course of disciplining him.

In his preface, Albee poses The American Dream as a critique of emasculation on the "American Scene". With this critique in mind, the potential misogyny in the figure of Mommy and Albee's theater in general becomes clear. As Mrs. Barker unwittingly notes, the "village idiot" is the proponent of Woman Love. Neither Mommy nor Grandma appear to think highly of Woman Love either; notably Mommy's own relationship with Grandma is defined by bitter debts, rivalries, and resentment.

More Help

Previous Next
Hello

by lisamaxwell44098, August 04, 2015

Hello,friend I am miss Lisa Maxwell,I am interested knowing you because i have an important issue to discuss with you,please contact me via this e-mail ( lisamaxwell44@hotmail.com )waiting for your email to send my pictures and tell you more about me, your friend, Lisa Maxwell,

1 Comments

1 out of 2 people found this helpful

Good morning

by bigsparknoterman, June 19, 2017

Here is one of the best essay writing services in the web

https://domyhomework.guru/

how my marriage was restore back

by marylove64, June 30, 2017

I feel so blessed again in my marriage after Doctor Abaka brought back my husband that separated with me for good 3 mounths. Am mary by name from USA. Even though i have mouths all over my body, it won't be enough to thank Doctor Abaka for his help upon my life. My husband separated with me for the 3 months and have been in pains and agony without him. So, i searched for help everywhere but nothing worked out not until i meant Doctor Abaka who i contacted online. I explained my situation to him and he promised that my husband will get back t

See all 6 readers' notes   →