Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

The War of the Women

Many of Edward Albee's plays are "overrun with devouring mothers, castrating wives, and remote husbands. . ." (Hirsch 18). As a result, a typical Albee marriage is one of domestic warfare. The women endlessly battle with their men in order to maintain control and the upper hand in the leadership of their family. In such plays as The American Dream, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and A Delicate Balance, Albee sees the American wife as the real driving force behind the household. Albee's housewife honestly believes that her family would collapse without her strict and overbearing rule.

Albee views these women as dominant and assertive. Women who will use any tactic necessary in order to keep their husbands powerless and unimportant. "In these female-dominated houses, husbands are remote and inadequate figures of distinctly secondary importance" (Hirsch 35). As hateful, and vengeful these women act though, they really do have a strange kind of "love" for their men. Albee portrays this love not so much as intense feelings of sexual desire or fondness, but more so of an underlying need for their companions. Albee's women genuinely believe that they must be in complete control in order...

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