By Arthur Miller

Set in Brooklyn, this gripping secret starts off whilst appealing, level-headed Sylvia Gellburg without warning loses her skill to stroll. the single clue to her mysterious disorder lies in her obsession with information money owed from Germany.

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Near death, she is infantilized, shouting nonsense syllables and throwing sand at Mommy and Daddy. 21 At the conclusion of The Sandbox, Grandma is first rallied and then helped to die by an athletic young man who calls himself the Angel of Death. Like Grandma, this wouldbe Adonis awaits his future, which he hopes will be a call from a studio to give him a Hollywood name. For now he is a vapid abstraction. A seriocomic deathwatch, The Sandbox looks forward to longer Albee plays in which far more daunting angels of death summon characters to eternity – All Over (1971), The Lady from Dubuque (1980), Three Tall Women (1991).

A conformist and isolationist, he is both Jerry’s nemesis and his hope, enemy, and heir. Living the credo of the “Organizational Man,” Peter is an upper-middle-class drone whose job, family, and lifestyle validate the mainstream rituals of the Eisenhower 1950s, as modeled by Gregory Peck in the film Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956). Peter lives by a routine that restricts and defines him: he works for a publisher (a safe occupation as an editor, as opposed to being a polemical writer), has a wife who prescribes his pleasures, raises two daughters (no son – which Jerry sees as an indictment of his virility), keeps two parakeets, and allots the same time each Sunday to reading in the park.

She “lives behind closed doors” (35), and cries all the time. Jerry does see the “colored queen who always keeps his door open; well not always, but always when he’s plucking his eyebrows” (22). This resident/inmate is socially marginalized twice over because of race and gender. His lustful landlady, the “gatekeeper” in this prison, tries to “corner” Jerry in the hallway, grabbing him, pushing him, pressing him, “in some foul parody of sexual desire” (28). It is in this narrow passageway, too, that Jerry encounters the dog, another gatekeeper (34).

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