Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf Analysis

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Edward Albee 's Who 's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a play that examines the troubled marriage of a middle-aged couple, Martha and George, and their experiences with a younger couple, Nick and Honey. As the play progresses, the night erupts into outburst of marital angst and verbal tirades, attempting to convey the flaws in American optimism and challenge the social expectations about love and family. Although the play is filled with episodes of torment, anger, and aggression, Albee also attempts to examine the existence of pleasure within the characters and reveal its purpose. By examining the interpersonal relationships among the characters, it is apparent that pleasure is only experienced through the destruction and deterioration of marital relationships, ultimately signifying that humans must prioritize selfish intentions to achieve any positive emotions.

Albee develops pleasure within the characters through constant emotional gratification from the characters ' sadisitic tendencies and enjoyment derived from others ' pain. These tendencies and actions are inherently destructive for the marital relationship, leading to increased dramatic tension and cruelty as the night progresses. George criticizes Martha for sharing too much information about their relationship with their son:
GEORGE. …about the apple of our eye…the sprout…the little bugger…(Spits it out)…our son…and if you start in on this other business, I warn you, Martha, it 's going to make me angry.

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