I elected to focus on Endgame for my senior seminar paper (which isn’t going well), and the play has me thinking long after Jimmy Fallon has stumbled his way through another episode of Late Night. The play is like a horoscope or a hypnagogic dream; its ambiguity enables its readers to interpret it in ways that apply to their own lives.
Right now, I’m hoping that a way to finish this paper comes to me in a dream–it’s my only hope at this point.
Mamet has been accused of being anti-feminist at best and misogynist at worst. Yet certainly we can’t say that he wants us to admire the “world of men” in this real estate office, or to agree with the characters’ attitude toward women (or toward anyone outside their white male world).
What are we to make of the influence of women in the play? What of Mrs. Lingk, who ruins Roma’s deal and indirectly brings about Levene’s final fall? What of the “ex” Levene mentions early in the play, the one who “kicked out” of another deal? What of Levene’s “daughter? And what of Harriet Nyborg, even, who serves Levene store-bought crumb cake and, along with her husband, agrees to sign a contract for land she has no intention or means of purchasing?
How are we to deal with the presence/absence of women in Glengarry Glen Ross? How might you construct an interpretation of the play that takes these women into account? Continue reading A Woman’s Gift is a Salesman’s Curse: Glengarry Glen Ross
Consider the following passages from an excellent essay on the play by Coppelia Kahn called “The Absent Mother in King Lear.” Kahn argues that Lear’s transformation over the course of the play involves his gradual understanding of–to put it bluntly–the woman in himself. Continue reading How Do You Love an Old Man?: Considering King Lear