Isolation and Loneliness: Edward Albee's The Zoo Story Term Paper

Isolation and Loneliness: Edward Albee's The Zoo Story
A review and examination of Edward Albee's play, "The Zoo Story".
# 151961 | 2,115 words | 2 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 31, 2012 in Drama and Theater (American) , Literature (American) , Psychology (General)

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This paper examines Edward Albee's play, "The Zoo Story", explaining that it is a study of human loneliness and isolation. It also provides an insight into American society in 1958. It provides a brief summary of the work and explains why the characters behave in the way that they do. Finally the paper concludes that through studing this play it is possible to gain insight into Albee's writing and the messages he is sending.

From the Paper:

''The play starts out sharing an absurd foundation with the first words spoken by Jerry to Peter, as the nature of loneliness becomes a main concern. The two men do not know each other and have never met. Jerry tells Peter that he has been to the zoo, repeating that information three times, each time with more and more emphasis. Jerry does not specifically share the details of his visits to the zoo, as Albee prefers to leave the details a mystery. As the opening shows, the play changes the basic sense of reality as a way to show how difficult life can be and how rational ideas about everyday life are incorrect. Modern society can offer many challenges that test man's ability to adapt and survive. The play poetically displays how loneliness and isolation occur as a result of the cold, harsh nature of society. The Zoo Story displays a variety of examples and scenes that show the seriousness of these consequences.
''Through Jerry's actions, the modern phenomenon of the isolation of man becomes clear. In an effort to break through the shell that imprisons him and as a way to connect with other people in any way possible, he uses a complete stranger so that he feels less alone. This proves to be an awkward way of communicating with people. The playwright uses the character of Jerry to explain the drama of modern man in our society where we are afraid of intruding on others and crossing personal boundaries. Jerry's needs and words are presented in very simple ways, showing his very basic need to gain information and connect with other people. Jerry's purpose is clear: "1 don't talk to many people except to say like: give me a beer, or where's the john, or what time does the feature go on, or keep your hands to yourself, buddy you know things like that" (Albee 161).''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Albee, Edward. The American Dream and the Zoo Story: Two Plays by Edward Albee. New York: Penguin Group, 1997.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Isolation and Loneliness: Edward Albee's The Zoo Story (2012, October 31) Retrieved October 07, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Isolation and Loneliness: Edward Albee's The Zoo Story" 31 October 2012. Web. 07 October. 2022. <>