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structure of the zoo story

Peter, a clean-cut man in his mid-forties, sits on the bench, reading and smoking a pipe. [21] Way 66. [4] Albee 22. As an audience member, watching the play makes one feel as if one is witnessing a crime and is directly involved; this sense of involvement is achieved through the structure of the play. Print. Realism is a style, and absurdism is a philosophical orientation. Structure. Gussow, Mel. Jerry asks whether Peter would prefer having sons, and Peter admits that he would. Early critics frequently compared The Zoo Story with the work of Samuel Beckett. [24] Amacher 38. Absurdist plots are often driven by the emotions the characters experience as they recognize and accept that their lives are meaningless. Ed. [17] Quoted in Lisa Siefker Bailey 31. Print. The staging for the play, therefore, consists of two park benches with foliage, trees, and sky behind them. glimpses of the boys’ travels, the zoo, and the Rom camp. Symbolic meanings are And of course, this desire to look "younger" foreshadows Peter’s childish reaction when Jerry invades his personal space at the end of the play. Yet each time Peter becomes upset, his reactions become more extreme. Yet, the story of the zoo is also one of transcendence. [10] Albee 30. ed. Both plays chronicle the relationship between two antagonistic characters who are forced to spend time together, and more importantly, both plays are absurdist in style. This admission makes Peter distinctly uncomfortable. The zoological park was, for most, a public stage. People, Albee seems to suggest, are nothing more than animals, and the city, which keeps them in close contact, is another kind of zoo. Peter’s costume — which includes tweeds, a pipe, and horn-rimmed glasses — suggests that he is a stereotypical intellectual, perhaps a professor. They tell us what we need to know about the play’s characters, and establish the contrasts between them. [12] Albee 34. [18] Siefker Bailey 32. In other words, he might not be asking random questions, but in fact asking questions designed to irritate and anger the man he believes Peter to be. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1969. Again, that contrast suggests that Peter is unhappy with himself, and is trying to be someone else. Philip C. Kolin and J. Madison Davis. Peter is slightly older than Jerry and is described as wearing “tweeds” and “carries horn-rimmed glasses” along with a pipe. How is the idea of generation gap or generational divide demonstrated in The Zoo Story by Edward Albee? In Waiting for Godot, the characters are cartoonish and exaggerated, and their predicament is contrived to make a philosophical point. “The Voice Reviews Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story and Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.” Village Voice The Archives. [14] Albee 40. The double bill was collectively titled Peter & Jerry, until 2009 when it was renamed At Home at the Zoo. Albee. In a situation like this, different types of animals are sure to cause trouble for one another if they are allowed to interact; this is one way to understand the action of the play. Peter frequently becomes annoyed by Jerry’s overbearing behavior. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Ed. It is set in New York's Central Park on Sunday afternoon in the summer. The Zoo Story by Edward Albee is rather simple in structure. By confronting Peter about his income, Jerry makes him self-conscious and forces him to acknowledge his privilege. [26] Debusscher 75. [20] Kolin 17. It is set in New York’s Central Park on Sunday afternoon in the summer. Bigsby, C.W.E. Kolin, Philip C. “Albee’s Early One Act Plays: A New American Playwright from Whom Much Is to Be Expected.” The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee. […]. The Zoo Story, on the other hand, is much more realistic in its approach — although it should be noted that realism and absurdism are not mutually exclusive. Tallmer, Jerry. Although Jerry’s behavior suggests that he is mentally ill, Peter’s rapid mood changes suggest that he may not entirely stable himself. [19] Siefker Bailey 34.

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