Normality In The Goat

1427 Words 6 Pages
Think of tradition, convention, and normality. These are parts of society that allow people to bond over commonalities and provide a basis for the culture that each person exists in. Each factor of society allows people to interact on a normal, day-to-day basis, and serves as the general foundation for civility. In Edward Albee’s The Goat, each of these integral parts of society are stretched and strained by the protagonist through certain acts deemed vile by his family and peers. The performance of these deeds calls for a questioning: a questioning of whether or not these acts represent an idea greater than the act itself, and a questioning of what Albee is attempting to convey by pushing boundaries with this wayward behavior.
In The Goat,
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Martin’s ability to keep a conversation alive consistently fails, cluing to the reader that something has got his mind. Solidifying that clue, in a conversation with Stevie, Martin himself states, “…I can’t remember anything” (6). Though Stevie and Martin in scene one chide about Martin possibly having Alzheimer’s, the reality of the situation is that his thoughts are being consumed by his feelings about Sylvia. Martin is having an internal debate with his consciousness — a debate about how he is to maintain his relationship with Stevie, and simultaneously maintain his relationship out in the country with Sylvia. Martin is feeling the internal struggle, and finally, tells Stevie bluntly that he has fallen in love with another “soul.” He makes no attempt to hide the fact that Sylvia is a goat, as seen when he says, “She’s a goat; Sylvia is a goat” (9). Stevie, after hearing this news for the first time, gives Martin a giggly response; she does not think he is serious. But who would? After hearing a claim so outlandish, so obscene, one could only brush it off as a joke. Stevie’s giggly disposition toward such a foul notion quickly turns to anger and disgust when Ross enlightens her about Martin’s recent animalistic behavior. While Stevie is seething with anger, more than anything, she is clearly aggrieved by the love Martin admits for Sylvia; that hurt is undoubtedly seen when …show more content…
What this allows him to do is show how people deal with, or tolerate, seemingly unforgivable acts, even when those acts are committed by the people who are supposed to be closest to each other. Albee demonstrates zero tolerance through Stevie, as seen when Stevie says, “That you can do these two things… and not understand how it … SHATTERS THE GLASS??!! How it cannot be dealt with —” (43). Stevie’s reaction demonstrates how the general population would react, given the circumstance. Albee, then, uses Billy to show how others may conversely react, and makes a point while doing

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