The Zoo Story Analysis

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The Zoo Story is said to be" the most impressive debut ever made by an American dramatist" (Bigsby 129). The title of the play, The Zoo Story, is a significant title as it shows that it is not a story about someone who visits the zoo and sees the animals, but it shows how the protagonist, Jerry, lives with his neighbors. Although they are living in a rooming house, they are isolated from each other in their rooms, like animals, and unable to "form relationship even with the landlady 's dog" (Hayman 189), like the animals in the zoo who live in cages. Kenneth Krauss says " the title of the play itself: The Zoo Story,… is the play 's story of how modern urban life transpires in a landscape where human animals are looked into unnatural…show more content…
Martin Esslin believes that Edward Albee 's The Zoo Story is an absurdist play that has mingled with realism to show the reality and absurdity of the world (Esslin 125). For one to find meaning
"A person has to have some way of dealing with SOMETHING. If not with people… if not with people … SOMETHING. With a bed, with a cockroach, with a mirror … not, that 's too hard, that’s one of the last steps" (63) . Zimbardo and Robert B. Bennet believe that the play belongs to tragedy because it has a tragic hero, Jerry, who decided to sacrifice himself in order to make Peter understand the reality of the world (101). Jerry decided and preferred to die rather than living in a world where he can not have a communication with anybody even with " landlady 's god" (59).

The setting of the play is on a Sunday afternoon in summer in New York central park. There are two park benches, one toward either side of the stage: they both face the audience. Behind them: foliage, trees, sky. At the beginning, Peter is seated on one of the benches (1). There is also a picture portrayed by Jerry of the rooming-house in which he lives. He begins to describe the room he lives in as a " laughably small room, and one of my walls is made of beaverboard" (45). He begins to ell Peter of what items does he have in his room of "hot plate, toilet articles, few clothes, a can opener, a knife, two forks, two spoons, three plates…" etc (47). His description of his room
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In this play, Jerry fails to communicate with everyone even the landlady 's dog. When he met Peter at the park, he decided to make communication with him through telling him stories. He begins to tell him about his life, where he lives, his neighbors that he never speaks with, and how the landlady tries to satisfy her needs especially the sexual ones through harassing him whenever he comes back to his room and finally to attract him more. He tells Peter about his story with the dog. But after all of these stories, he fails to have any communication with Peter. Robert S. Wallace says that " what Jerry fails to realize, is that his use of words has added to his isolation" (152). His words as well had separated him from the audience and separated the audience from the play. Wallace believes that Jerry manages to communicate with Peter through body language not through verbal language (154). Mary M. Nilan believes that the reason for lack of communication in society is because that the concept of love has demolished (128). Jerry in The Zoo Story says that " if we can so misunderstand, well then, why have we invented the word love in the first place?" (36). Jerry 's inability to communicate with the landlady 's dog and Peter, drove him to

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