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Illutionary world and alienation presented in Albee's who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nurmansyah, M. Andhy
Article from Journal
Humanitas vol. 2 no. 1 (Nov. 2006)
Lihat Detail Induk
The study focuses on analyzing marriage institution during the sixties in America as pictured in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). Along with the cultural changes in the sixties, American family had experienced a chaotic condition mostly due to the shift of some traditional values, which were questioned by young Americans. Their rejection toward a formality and a culture of conformity was then coined into a rebellious behavior under the term of counter culture. Specifically, the study is aimed to unfold the satirical aspects of the play related to the collapse of traditional concepts of marriage and to find out Albee's perception in the pattern of alienation that appears on the crisis within family life. The study applies some approaches based on interdisciplinary perspective. Simmel's socio-cultural approach, Abrams' expressive theory and Esslin's principles of the Theatre of the Absurd are employed complementarily in order to understand the elements of fiction and at the same time to grasp the big issues presented in the play. The study employs qualitative analysis and makes use of written data, printed as well as electronic sources. The findings, then, are presented descriptively. The research finds out that some traditional concepts of marriage in the sixties, such as material and status gaining, and the absence of children had provided different condition within familial life. Ideal-standardized picture of family life inherited from the previous decades seemed not to be operative in social life but contrarily turned to be unreacheable dreams for family members in the era. The discussion also shows that the crisis within family life had produced illusionary worlds and the sense of alienation for many people.
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