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Glengarry Glen Ross

David Mamet

Act One, scene two

Act One, scene one

Act One, scene two, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Moss and Aaronow, two other salesmen from the office, sit in a booth at the restaurant. They are complaining about the deadbeat customers to whom they have been trying to sell. Moss does most of the grumbling while Aaronow mostly listens and agrees. Aaronow, like Levene, is not on the board, and is in danger of getting fired.

Moss alludes to the structure of the sales contest taking place in their office: salesmen who reach a certain high sales mark win a Cadillac, those who reach a lower mark win a set of steak knives, and the two who fare the worst get fired. Moss suggests that a much better business model is that of Jerry Graff, who was once a salesman like themselves but who has now gone into business for himself. Aaronow mentions rumors that Graff's venture is not doing so well, but Moss refuses to hear more.

After making several points about the unreasonableness of Mitch and Murray's business practices, Moss suggests that someone should strike back. He declares that someone should rob the office, steal the Glengarry leads and sell them to Jerry Graff. Puzzled by the specificity of this supposedly offhand notion, Aaronow tries to determine whether they are "talking" about the robbery plan (as a purely intellectual, academic notion), or "talking" about it (discussing a viable plan that they intend to realize). Moss starts out denying that he has actually talked to Graff. Soon, however, thinking that Aaronow is receptive to his plan, Moss reveals that he has talked to Graff, and that the robbery idea is a very real one. He tells Aaronow that Graff will give them $5,000 to steal the leads, money that they will split evenly, and then Graff will give them jobs at his company.

Moss says that Aaronow has to be the one to actually commit the robbery. Moss cannot do it himself because, he argues, everyone would suspect him due to his constant badmouthing of the company. He will go out to the movies with a friend, providing himself with an alibi, while Aaronow commits the robbery. Moss explains to Aaronow that the robbery has to occur that night, because the leads are going to be moved downtown the next day. If Aaronow does not agree to this plan, then Moss will do it himself, and when he is caught, he will tell the police that Aaronow was his accomplice. Aaronow can hardly keep up with this line of reasoning. He cannot understand why Moss is suddenly threatening him.

Moss accidentally lets on that Graff is going to pay more than $5,000 for the leads, although Aaronow's take will still only be $2,500. Suddenly the men have gone from harmless "talking" to a situation in which Aaronow has to either commit a crime—and reap less than half of the reward—or face finding himself accused of that crime.

Analysis

Mamet does not indicate whether Aaronow and Moss sit in the same booth that Levene and Williamson occupy in the previous scene. Again, the physical aspects of the production are not of great interest to Mamet. As in the last scene, one character, Moss, does the majority of the talking. Aaronow does little other than agree with Moss, ask him obvious questions, or simply repeat what Moss says. Moss starts out affecting a tone of camaraderie with Aaronow, telling him that his recent bad sales record is due to the leads he has been given: Polish people, deadbeats, and Indians named Patel come under particular fire. Identifying these external groups as the enemy, Moss intimates that he and Aaronow are comrades, in the same boat.

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Roma knew from the board.

by sn1119, November 19, 2013

Though the notes say that "Early in this scene, Roma tells Baylen that he had heard about the robbery from Moss, and Baylen wondered how Moss knew.", when Baylen asks, Roma cites the board on the window and never mentions Moss.

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