Teacher: Bocsor Pter Introduction to Literature 2 Seminar 2003. 03. 22. Spring, Szeged, Hungary Tth Gabriella Imprisoned Souls The Zoo Story, by Edward Albee is a one-act play, with a simple plot, representing a deep, socio-philosophical question: the feeling of being isolated, and loneliness People in modern, post-industrialised society can often feel that they are unimportant, ignored and their life is not more than vegetation. Many times people can only see one way out of the prison of their lives, but this way sometimes leads them to a tragedy. The drama, in my point of view, can be interpreted as the metaphor of human alienation.
The two empty picture frames, mentioned by Jerry; the word Zoo, in the title and all through the play; and the rooming house, in which the protagonist lives, are the symbols of human beings, being isolated from each other. The separation of people is caused by the invisible fences that they create around themselves. Peter, one of the two main characters, -a mild-mannered publisher-, is living the everyday life of an upper middle-class married man, who is perfectly satisfied with his life at the beginning of the play. We see Jerry, at the same time, initially, as a young, shabbily dressed, aggressively hostile man. He accosts Peter; who is sitting quietly on a bench, reading a book; and starts to poor out his emotions and life story. It turns out from Jerrys monologues that he is lonely, but not really physically, but rather emotionally.
... learn youthful behaviour from children or who have work centered lives without play? Are young girls who lack rights and are married ... contradicts his previous contention that the meaning of life is grounded in play. It does not specifically depict work as a ... That way an objective feature of people will provide means to subjective meaningfulness in life in accordance with Schlicks model. References ...
He has no feelings about any of his parents. His good old Mom and good old Pop departed this life when he was only ten years old. The reason for his coldness towards his parents is that his mother left the family and died of having been a heavy drinker. His father died of for similar reasons. He can not create a lasting relationship with the opposite sex either. When Jerry gives the list of his personal belongings, he mentions two empty picture frames, which, on the one hand, refer to the fact that he does not have anyone to love and he is not loved by anybody either. That is why the frames remained pictureless.
The empty picture frames, on the other hand, mean more than being unloved by others. They are also the symbol of being unaware of who we are. The description about the board house, given by Jerry, gives us the impression of living in a house, like hell. Jerrys isolation and lack of relations are best represented by the monologue, in which he is taking about the house in which he lives, and the house-sharers, with whom he lives together, but only in a physical sense. The rooms, in which people, in the house, live, are laughably small, just as if we saw a cage in a zoo. Although, he has the capability, the language and the intention of making contact with someone, still, he is unable to take a step towards it.
He says, I dont know any of the people on the third and second floors. The only living creature, with which he managed to create contact, was the dog of the landlady. This black monster, as he named the animal, becomes the object of his desired contact. Jerry does not really mind if this relationship turns into love or hatred. The only thing he is longing for is contact. Its just that if you cant deal with people, you have to make a start somewhere, with animals! I think this thought of Jerry is the manifestation of his hunger for having a relationship with someone.
He has to get either love or hatred to survive, and to feel his empty life with emotions. By the end of the drama, real relationship develops between the two characters. Peter learns to see further than the fences of his own metaphorical cage in which he is living, but he also recognises a world, different of his, Jerrys life. So, Jerry, by the end of the play achieves one of his original aims, being recognised by someone. By the same token, he manages to get something more as well. He gets into contact with a stranger, who first feels sympathy for Jerry and than, hatred. This emotion which is provoked by Jerry is becoming so strong that it leads Peter towards a murder.
Life As A House was produced in 2001, and the film’s take on cancer and how people deal with illness is even more relevant today. Cancer strikes more and more lives every day. Some people are provided with a miracle and battle the cancer, while others are given a few short months with their loved ones. The awful thing about cancer is that it doesn’t care who you are, how many years you’ve lived, ...
He becomes a killer without having the real intention of taking away Jerrys life. Peters tragic fault is his manner. He can not say no, because he wants to act according to the picture, he imagines about himself. At the end, however, he reacts, as any of us would react in similar situations. He does not want to let Jerry to get his bench on which he used to sit every Sunday afternoon. His comic insisting on the bench can be explained by the fact that the bench becomes the symbol of his whole life, for which he feels he must fight.
In the last scene, after Peter knifes Jerry, by accident, he collapses and becomes totally confused. By this act, Peter has redeemed Jerrys life. Being at deaths door, Jerry gives thanks to Peter. Thank you Peter, Ive come to you, and you have comforted me. In my opinion it shows that death was an actual redemption for Jerry. The protagonist is not able to live in a society, which is like a prison for him.
Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly. This idea of Jerry, I think, means that from the very beginning he knew exactly, what he was doing. He wanted to be killed, either by his or someone elses hand, but to get to his purpose, he had to choose this way, to be, at least in his death, perceived..