mardi, mai 02, 2006

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? By Edward Albee

Uncontestably touted as one of the most stunning dramas in our time, _who's Afraid of viriginia Woolf_ by Edward Albee throws low punches and scores hits in the most tender parts without fail. The work highlights humankind's most powerful drive to continue the species and how childlessness can in so many ways be a total renunciation of all that we think we are meant to mbe.

Anthropologist Emily Martin, formerly Emily Ahern, wrote about how Western medical texts portrayed a woman as nothing without children. Albee's text shows that this tremendous power of reproduction actually extends even further to male-female relationships. In the sort of contemptuous banter that many a husband and wife fall into in the later stages of their marriages.. Albee shows us all too clearly perhaps how one's incrediblly low self-esteem can destroy relationships... where the words are just cover for the vital subtext that is pervasive in our society. Pepole who are brash, braying, aggressive on the surface, but inwardly really are just incredibly unsure of themselves and terrifyingly unhappy about who they are, their failings, and who they have become.

The power of this play and the fact thatit still strikes people so deeply shows us just how accurate Albee's portrayal of our world is. The simple fact that people have applauded the play reveals to us that its message clearely still applies today as much as it did in 1962 when it was first written. (much like Hansberry's _A Raisin in the Sun_)

Martha is a classic discontented housewife on the surface.

I should have been working, but I stopped to do something I really wanted to do instead, which is read another play. I love reading plays. If I could figure out how to be a good playwright I might do that someday in my life... anyway I read Edward Albee's _Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?_ It was a stunning.. truly truly stuning play.

I was really touched by its portrayal of how much having children and childrearing itself are a huge part of our sense of self-worth. and more than that at how low sense of self-worth hurts marriages/relationships and causes people to respond and react in really angry and hurtful manners.. the substance of the anger Albee wrote and created isn't that the people don't love each other, but rather that there is such a combination of hurts and pains that they can't help it, because no one else knows or sees their pain as deeply as the spouse/friend, etc... and so the firing of shots in a huge way is miscommuniation on the small level, but on the wider level it is totally understood by both George and Martha -and even I suspect Nick at the end- as the cry of pain from one woman and her total psyche from how much she hates herself ro not having children, for not thinking she is worthy of love, and onwards to how those things are expressed in awful mean-sounding barbs to other people... but really are just an expression of the misery that she is in. The interaction Albee sketches out for us is a means of saying "I'm miserable" --not just without actually having to say "I'm miserable," but in a manner that can reveal more about our misery than simply the words "I'm miserable." It is fascinating that humans need to communicate that deeply in fact.. and is obvious to some level that when the misery is at a certain level and the person is in dire need of someone to hear and know and connect with them in their level of pain that this method of caustic barbs are how some people can choose whether unconsciously or consciously to express the pain. (I don't think I had ever recognized that people are actively expressing pain in this fashion having always thought that crabbiness was a byproduct of being miserable. It seems thought aht on some level, even if it is unconscious as I belive most such expressions are, the suspicion remains in my mind that such an expression is actually the subconscious reaching out and trying to tell another person how unhappy he/she is deep inside. In which case also, any time someone is mean, hurtful, or crabby, really then I should be looking to see were and how that person is hurting inside rather than being hurt, taking offense, or responding the way we all tend to with our own hurt and upset. A fascinating concept for how to rule one's own emotions and passions.)

It is so easy to see that in the people around us all the time. The pain a human being can feel is an amazing thing. It isn't as simple as I hurt, but rather extends through time, through memories, through emotions, and interpersonal connections, and even connections to inanimate things.. all those cells and chemicals in the brain uniquely connected (unique in that it is different from one human to the next) to formulate a signature of pain that reeals itself in one of the most common ways that human beings can reveal pain.

I'm really impressed by Albee's writing. I hope someday I can write like that. I really do. It's fascinating that he can capture people so clearly in their moment of unconsciousness and bring the pain up so sharply that we can see it as readers or an audience.
Nothing moves me like literature. I suppose I like nothing morethan reading literature, psychology, and histories. It's a it sad considering what I do. I'm considering changging fields becuase I think it would be more in line with my character and make my life less of a struggle.