full title The American Dream
author Edward Albee
type of work Drama
genre Comedy; the Theater of the Absurd
time and place written Written in New York, 1959–1960
date of first publication 1960; first production, January twenty-four, 1961, at the York Playhouse, New York City
publisher The New American Library, Inc.
narrator None, though Grandma steps out of the action at the close of the play
climax The American Dream does not adhere to the Aristotelian model of plot and thus does not involve a structure of rising and falling action, climax, and catharsis.
protagonists Grandma (though in a loose sense)
setting (time) Unspecified—the present?
setting (place) The living room of Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma's apartment
point of view Point of view is not located as there is no narrator figure
falling action Again, The American Dream does not adhere to the Aristotelian model of plot.
tense The play unfolds in the time of the present
foreshadowing Indications of Grandma's imminent departure in particular occur throughout the play
themes The American Dream, language and violence, emasculation
motifs Old people and Grandma's epigrams, the boxes, defense, disfiguration and deformity
symbols The American Dream does not particularly make use of symbols