The Eiron and the Alazon in Edward Albee’s the Zoo Story (1958), Le Roi Jones’s Dutchman (1964) and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro (1969)

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Mouloud Mammeri University of Tizi-Ouzou


This research paper has studied the elements underlying the absurdity of communication between the characters in Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, Le Roi Jones’s Dutchman and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro. This issue has been addressed through three major phases. First, the focus has been placed upon the socio-economic and racial injustices in the American society during the 1950s and 1960s. Second, as a direct consequence of the socio-economic disparity, the alienation experienced by the plays’ central characters has been analyzed in the light existentialism. Third, the very absurdity of the characters’ interaction has been interpreted in terms of the characters’ ironic pursuit for communication. Such ironic interaction has therefore been tackled from a mythical perspective calling forth Northrop Frye’s theory of archetypes, particularly the mythos of satire and irony. Hence, it has been concluded that the characters’ failed communication is brought about by their ironic attack of their interlocutors’ fake personas.





Drama Arts