Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 15, 2023
December 8, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
The ironic commentator of the play, Grandma stands in for the figure of the "absurdist" dramaturge: indeed she even ultimately exits the frame of the action to become its director.
Read an in-depth analysis of Grandma.
An archetypal "bad mother," Mommy is the household's sadistic disciplinarian, dismissing Grandma and infantilizing Daddy.
Read an in-depth analysis of Mommy.
Under Mommy's reign of terror, Daddy is a negative entity—indeed, early in the play Mommy reduces his speech to the echo of hers. Bent to Mommy's will, he relies on her entirely for the confirmation of his masculinity. Like Mommy, Daddy also displays a disturbing propensity for childish behavior. Whereas Mommy becomes the tyrannical sadist in her regression, however, Daddy characteristically becomes the child needing punishment.
Read an in-depth analysis of Daddy.
A blond, Midwestern beauty, the Young Man describes himself as a "type"; upon their introduction, Grandma dubs him the "American Dream."
Read an in-depth analysis of The Young Man.
A caricature of the socially responsible American housewife, Mrs. Barker is the flighty and ingenuous volunteer from the Bye-Bye Adoption Service who delivered the "bumble" to Mommy and Daddy twenty years ago and has returned, upon their request, to provide them with the "satisfaction" they deserve. Of course, she remains steadfastly ignorant of the purpose of her visit even as she remains fully aware of her shared history with the household, thereby underscoring that history's traumatic nature. In many respects she plays a role similar to Honey's in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf—that of an outsider who cannot easily always follow the household's conversational games. Indeed, she almost faints as a result.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The American Dream!