structure of the zoo story

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New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2007, 11-40. Peter does not understand why Jerry has told him all of this and tries to leave. Jerry confides that he rarely talks to other people, but that he loves to know everything about people he does talk to. [32] The simple way in which Jerry talks to Peter is reminiscent of the Gospels, which are also written in colloquial diction. From a more mechanical standpoint, the zoo story gives the plot a sense of forward momentum that it would not otherwise have – if Jerry and Peter's conversation had no explicit purpose or direction, then the play would lose its tight structure. Peter's social etiquette requires him to be compliant and polite.

Print. 18-31. [23] Debusscher 75.

Jerry explains he went to the zoo to “find out more about the way people exist with animals, and the way animals exist with each other….”[12] Jerry then suddenly pokes Peter in the arm and tells him to move over on the bench.

Symbolic meanings are
“The Voice Reviews Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story and Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.” Village Voice The Archives. This interpretation certainly helps to understand his quick reaction when Jerry suggests he cannot have children - such an assumption draws attention to his age, and perhaps to the true personality he works to disguise even from himself.

The story of the dog leads to Jerry’s zoo story, but the roundabout, digressionary mode of relation is emblematic of Edward Albee’s style.

[7] Albee 27. It refers not only to Jerry’s visit to the Central Park Zoo, but also to Jerry and Peter’s interaction.

Bottoms. Ed. According to the publishing firm Samuel French, “The Zoo Story may be performed independently. The American Dream and The Zoo Story.

. Indeed, there are a number of important similarities between The Zoo Story and Beckett’s best-known work, Waiting for Godot. The two men are fairly close in age.... within five years or so. However, Homelife may only be performed as part of the full length play At Home at the Zoo.”.

Siefker Bailey, Lisa M. “Absurdly American: Rediscovering the Representation of Violence in The Zoo Story.” Edward Albee: A Casebook.

Way then describes the “pseudo- crisis” of an absurd play as occurring when “a similar complex of tensions is brought to a head without resolving anything…emphasizing that complexity and tension are permanent and unresolvable elements of a world of confusion,” while in a dramatic play the crisis serves as a way to advance the story’s action.

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more -
[15] In The New York Times review, The Zoo Story was said to be “on par” with Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, which was playing together with The Zoo Story in a double-bill.

[4] Albee 22.

Kolin, Philip C. “Albee’s Early One Act Plays: A New American Playwright from Whom Much Is to Be Expected.” The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee. Realism is a style, and absurdism is a philosophical orientation. Peter and Jerry have quotidian nuanced personalities and quotidian back stories, and the play’s plot, which revolves around an awkward conversation between strangers, is drawn from a common situation of urban life.

Beckett’s work lends itself well to an absurdist interpretation.

[28] Gabbard 20. MISTER, I’VE BEEN TO THE ZOO!” exclaims Jerry, a man in his late thirties who is “carelessly dressed but not poorly,” to Peter, who is at this particular moment sitting alone on a bench in Central Park in New York City, reading a book.

Jerry has been let into a cage with a totally different type of animal, and it is his instinct to then wreak havoc for that more privileged beast.

[29] Amacher 39. Gussow, Mel. However, he quickly becomes offended when Jerry insinuates that Peter cannot have any more children, without any evidence on which to base that assumption. Drama Desk Award, 1960. By confronting Peter about his income, Jerry makes him self-conscious and forces him to acknowledge his privilege. “At Home at the Zoo (Zoo Story).” Samuel French.

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