Character Analysis Of Mamet's 'Glengarry Glen Ross'

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Mamet uses ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ not as a way of representing the infecting nature of corporate America as many would believe but to portray the underlying anxieties and fears of Americans at that time which, as it can be seen, had a greater destructive effect on employees ethics and morals than just simply the career they had chosen. It is this motive of exposing these demons that fuels Mamet’s play which demonstrates to the audience all the ways in which America was, at that time, contrived to ostracise the ‘weak’ from the ‘strong’, brutal in its transitory nature and intangible to the extent that nothing could truly be considered real or absolute.
Mamet gives us insight into the mentality of workers in America at that time, the animalistic
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He displays this again through a contrast with Roma, this time Levene providing the comparison. Mamet opens the play by showing Levene’s past oriented view on why he should be kept on and his attachment to the history that he has had with the company where times seemed to be more stable especially for him. His inability to move on from ‘Sixty five, when we were there, with Glen Ross Farms’ is proven to be part of the reason why he is unsuccessful now, at a time that requires someone who is capable of adapting to situations, such as Roma. The quote also relates to the title of the play ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ an unhappy conjunction between two resentful partners; 'Glengarry ' referring to 'Glengarry Highlands ', which are the properties to be sold using the much coveted new leads being brought in and 'Glen Ross ' referring to 'Glen Ross Farms ' which was land that Levene presumably had great success selling at some stage in the past. Contrasting this inflexible attitude held by Levene, Roma shows himself to be a man living for the present thus becoming more successful through this outlook. His ideology that if a situation arises ‘I will deal with it just as I do today with what draws my concern today’ and that he doesn’t own a ‘nostalgia file’ is what makes him such a good salesman and so prosperous in America at that time. …show more content…
Mamet uses Roma as a mouthpiece for his own views when he says ‘I want to show you something. It might mean nothing to you…I don’t know anymore’ this quote sums up the feeling at the time where once events were more certain, now they are only possibilities and ‘what of these happen…? None of em. We worry anyway’. Roma/Mamet is commenting on the indefinites that now plague the world, he talks about how people worry about circumstances that don’t even exist, circumstances such as the ‘bank closing’ and the ‘stock market collapsing’ (Both forms of untouchable money) that simply would not have been worries in the past because they didn’t exist. In the past, Roma seems to be saying, times were much simpler and therefore at least appeared more certain, people didn’t worry about things that hadn’t come to past and therefore were more susceptible to the dreams that engulfed them as they seemed like more attainable situations without the cynicisms of the modern world. However times have morphed due to greater unpredictability and tensions; this is why Roma is unable to say for certain whether the map he shows his client will mean anything to him and why he believes people have become ‘befuddled by a middle class

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