In her capacity as an ironic commentator—one who in a sense observes the household events from the outside—Grandma readily stands in for the absurdist dramaturge. Indeed, her epigrammatic commentary prefigures her eventual transformation into a director. At the end of the play, Grandma will come to cross between the spaces of the action and theater to stage the play's denouement and comment on the events literally from the outside.
Grandma also doubles the absurdist in that her defenses against the violence of others are absurd in the truest sense (L. absurdus, from ab- + surdus deaf, stupid). Her deafness and stupidity would remove her from the household's fatal intercourse. Tellingly, Mommy notes here Grandma never knows what she means. Though she may know what she says at the moment, she will not for long. Her "absurdity" thus uncouples knowledge or intention and the meaning of her speech and, eventually, intention and her utterance (what she says). As we will see throughout the play, these separations—interrupting the speech's communicative function—are some of Grandma's crucial defenses against violence.
Grandma also introduces the finely wrapped boxes, boxes that appear on-stage for most of the play. Here the boxes evoke the memory of a perverse circuit of exchange between an impoverished and widowed Grandma and young Mommy—note here Mommy's disconcerting regression to childish speech. This circuit involves relations of deprivation, debt, and deceit. Grandma denies herself dinner to provide her daughter with tomorrow's lunch. Mommy cannot bring herself to open Grandma's beautifully wrapped "gift" so to speak, Unspoken here is Mommy's debt to Grandma: her lunch means Grandma's deprivation. Thus she returns it to provide Grandma with a day-old meal. In turn, she plays the deprived child to her classmates, generous out of their sense of superiority.