Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

Spring 5-12-1967

Abstract

Edward Albee, now thirty-nine years old, with seven plays and two adaptations behind him, has become America's most controversial major playwright. His style has changed from time to time over the years, swinging from a naturalistic style to an absurd style and back again. His plays belong for the most part, however, in the Naturalist-Symbolist school. In his naturalistic plays, which include The Zoo Story, The Death of Bessie Smith, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Tiny Alice and A Delicate Balance, Albee has uniquely combined past literary styles. At times Albee shifts abruptly into a surrealistic style, as in The Zoo Story and A Delicate-Balance. In Who' s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , Albee moves into a formal style. With The Death of Bessie Smith and Tiny Alice, Albee has attempted a complete fusion of styles. In The American Dream and The Sandbox, Albee has used some of the superficial elements of the absurd tradition to make a penetrating statement about the American family and American values. Throughout most of his one acts, it becomes obvious that Albee is searching for a style. As Albee writes his full-length plays, he seems to be consistently striving to

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