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Transcript of THE SANDBOX
Disintegration of the family unit
Lack of religious hope and faith in modern society
To convey author's existentialist beliefs that humans live in essential isolation in a meaningless world.
Hostile and friendly at once
A beach becomes a grave
Doubles as scene of Grandma’s 2nd childhood and her death
Sand also stands for the desert
(Signifies the barrenness of
by Edward Albee
POINT OF VIEW
Beginning with brightest day, the Young Man is performing calisthenics near a sandbox at the beach.
Mommy and Daddy have brought Grandma all the way out from the city and place her in the sandbox.
Throughout the play, the Young Man is very pleasant, greeting the other characters with a smile as he says, "Hi!".
As Mommy and Daddy cease to acknowledge Grandma while they wait, Grandma reverts from her childish behavior and begins to speak coherently to the audience.
Grandma and the Young Man begin to converse with each other. Grandma feels comfortable talking with the Young Man as he treats her like a human being.
Once brightest day has become deepest night, Mommy and Daddy hear on-stage rumbling. Acknowledging that the sounds are literally coming from off-stage and not from thunder or breaking waves, Mommy knows that Grandma's death is here.
As daylight resumes, Mommy briefly weeps by the sandbox before quickly exiting with Daddy.
Although Grandma, who is lying down half buried in sand, has continued to mock the mourning of Mommy and Daddy, she soon realizes that she can no longer move.
It is at this moment that the Young Man finally stops performing his calisthenics and approaches Grandma and the sandbox.
As he directs her to be still, he reveals that he is the angel of death and says, "...I am come for you." Even though he says his line like a real amateur, Grandma compliments him and closes her eyes with a smile.
Their dialogue is vague,
at times indicating that the characters know that they are in a play.
- shows that the regular dialogue and actions in the play, which was designed to illustrate the pointlessness of human action, are so insignificant that addressing the stage action while acting doesn’t seem out of place.
Metaphysically, the beach itself is a sandbox, giving the audience a sense of fatalism in terms of
The characters are
and all symbolize a certain type of person, so it is hard to determine their motivations. - The Young Man is flapping his arms up and down until the end of the play in order to symbolize his role as the Angel of Death, but this does not become apparent until he actually tells Grandma that he has come for her.
Everything from the dialogue, props, setting, to the actions of the characters is
and left up to the reader to interpret.
Person vs Person
Mommy vs Daddy (power)
Grandma vs Mommy
Person vs Self
Granny: “I can’t get up”
Angel of Death/Young Man can’t remember lines
Person vs Environment
Daddy is cold
Granny is kept “under the stove”
Thunder and darkness
Mommy & Daddy treat Grandma like a child which is what often happens to older people. They don't love/care about her, treat her as a chore. Ungrateful children.
The young man doing calisthenics is the angel of death so he's flexing his wings & getting ready to take grandma.
There' s lots of black humor & absurdity.
Albee hated his adopted parents so that might have something to do with it.
"tiny" and "wizened," but also as possessing "bright eyes."
Though physically weak, she is animated, spirited.
Married to a farmer at the age of 17, and was widowed when she was 30, left to raise her daughter on her own.
She worked hard, and has a sense of moral and intellectual values.
"well-dressed" and "imposing" which suggest materialism, a concern for the self, self-centered, and stupidly cruel.
An archetypal "bad mother"
Mommy is a deceitful gold-digger who has married Daddy for his money.
Daddy is "small," "gray," and "thin"; in the play this suggests that he is negligible, emasculated, and colorless.
simpleton who, appropriately, wants to be an actor—that is, wants not to have an identity of his own—begins merely as a hunk, a male beauty engaged in mindless repetitive physical activity.
However, he develops—in response to Grandma's vitality—into a more sympathetic, loving figure (he kisses Grandma), and his kiss brings her comfort and evokes from her a highly civilized response.