The Sandbox Essay, Research Paper
November 29, 1999
In reading Edward Albee’s “The Sandbox” directly out of the text, it seemed to be a trite and dull play. I was left with feeling after I read the play in the book, that if anything this boring could get published so could I some time in the future. Yet, to see it performed live by my fellow classmates, it revealed much of the dynamics of that family. In being able to see it performed among my classmates; my actual opinion of the play did modify. I was able to be more open and understanding to the message and the actual motivation of the play.
My original opinion of this play was that if was of a family that was too busy to care about the needs of the elderly grandmother. It had managed to rap itself so tightly in the daily bind not to care about any actual member of the family that could be sick or aging. A family that had established itself to a point that having to contend with the grandmother throws the entire situation off.
In seeing the play performed live I grew to understand that my original assumption was precise yet, there was more going on than I read. It is a family that is dealing with having to cope with an elderly parent. The roles of parenting have changed the child has now become the parent. It about a family has to cope and re-adjust their lives to manage the new person.
Also a problem with dealing with the elderly is dealing with the fact that they are closer to death. The realities that the “Mom” would be losing her own mother soon, which leaves some harsh feelings. Death is an actual theme that I could tell throughout the play. The play confronts being alive and how to behave with the awareness of death. It calls the reader and the people who will view the play live, not to live in fear of death that it is such a natural next step of life. It is has some streaks of optimism, because the play makes the assumption that it is possible to communicate with other people. That in the end the natural element that makes life a workable situation is to be able to talk to each other.
The play is a good example of a family dealing with change and transition. It is a family that is adjusting to the change of a loved one. The play allows the reader from dark humored perspective understand the pain an anger of old aged. It would be the definition of the song the “Little of Lady from Pasadena” how as we get older we do slow down but grow. I found the play to be a good look at the current trends in society. That this society has a problem with how to treat the elderly, how to respect the wealth of knowledge that they have. This society has a function to serve the young and when the elderly hit a certain point they have used the potential and a discarded. The play reflects modern trends on the elderly and the perspective of how they are dealt with.