What Is The Symbolism In Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

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The play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf “by Edward Albee has a very significant meaning to the time period it was written in. The author uses this play as a method to allude to the issues America is facing during the 1960’s. To depict these concerns, the author indirectly refers to problems through the use of George and Martha, the older couple, and Nick and Honey, the younger couple. Albee uses multiple different aspects of the story to discuss with the audience about the social issues arising in the 1960’s. To unfold the significance of the characters, the reader can consider the symbolism used, the 1960’s expectations of relationships and the generational gap between the two couples. Looking into these qualities of the characters allows …show more content…
This gives the audience a very obvious clue that the play will be no more than a metaphor about the events happening in the United States. The creation of George and Martha’s “son” is used in the work to represent the United States as well. Being that George Washington was one of the founding fathers, it only makes sense that the country is considered to be his “child”. Additionally, the imaginary “son” that George and Martha has multiple significant aspects connected to the overall meaning of the play. Martha and George argue over the hair color and eye color of the child. This itself is not only showing a flaw in the image of their relationship, but shows a deeper meaning as well. Both George and Martha have two different ideas as to what the child looks like. Similarly, there are two main political groups that citizens of the United States associate themselves with. Each of these groups has their own idea of what the country should look like, just as George and Martha have ideas on what their “child” looks like. The symbolism of the child may also be representative of other events happening in the 1960’s. As said before, George …show more content…
The generational gap between the two couples is what helps to create this progressive happening in the country. During the 1960’s families in America began to change. According to The Family Romance Transformed: American Domestic Arrangements Since 1960, “What distinguishes the period of family life after 1960 from prior eras is the contemporary increase in family breakups due to parental relational issues”. George and Martha’s relationship has some “relational issues” that have not been resolved (Fuchsman 275). George has fallen short of the potential success he could have received at the college, as he is married to the president’s daughter. Martha also has her flaws in that she is not the conventional wife. The couple also does not have a real child (Albee 10). Another progressive idea brought to light in the plat is abortion. Abortion rights became one of the up and coming issues along with the women’s rights movement. In 1962, around the time of the play, one of the first faces of the Abortion rights movement came about. Sherri Finkbine provided an “emotional face in the media in the quest to legalize abortion” (www.studentsforlife.org). This would become one of the biggest issues in the nation. The movement’s formulation is directly related to the changing of perspective between the two generations. George and Martha represent the earlier views of the American

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