Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story: Echo/es of Contemporary Subversive Culture

Naqibun Nabi, Firoz Ahmed


The post-world war II American social and cultural setting was ambiguously featured with enforced conformity in the name of prosperity and Americanization of the nation. Despite of this fact, American writers, especially, dramatists conveyed their message against this fixation through variety and intellectuality. Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story is one of those literary assets which dedicatedly cut through the illusions of contemporary American social and cultural ethos. Here, his characters are seen struggling constantly with their insecurities and existential angst in the society. He presents America, the so-called ‘Land of Free and Home of Braves’ (note 1), in such a portrayal that unveils the traps of cages and confinement underneath. The target of this paper is to trace Edward Albee’s heightened awareness about the post-war American socio-cultural reality evident in The Zoo Story. It also looks for the voice in which the text echoes out the anti-communist, materialistic, gender-coded boundaries, coupled with paradoxical media representations, religious bordering and how Albee challenges these issues with an anti-establishment tone.

Keywords: subversive culture, anti-communism, media, religion and homosexuality

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