Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

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Rating: 5/5

I found it rather funny to read this book right after reading “Three Guineas”. Why I didn’t read it sooner I’m not sure considering how big a fan I am of Virginia Woolf but who knows why I do the things I do.

Anyway, this play is now on my top 5 list of plays alongside “Streetcar Named Desire” and “No Exit”. I constantly find myself amazed at just how much story can be told by just having people sitting in one room and talking (or in this case yelling) at each other.

Essentially, this play is about four people who get together after a faulty party at a university and proceed to lie about their lives, not just to each other but to themselves. None of their lives are the way they say and throughout the play we get to see these lies crumble before them.

In fact, their allusion to Virginia Woolf is really quite amazing and in my opinion a nod to her fearless insight into the reality of things. The question, “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” comes up often in the play, mostly in the form of a song. This question forms the basis of the play by cryptically asking the question, “Who’s afraid to live without false illusions?”

It is an absolutely brilliant play that I will probably read multiple times and would love to see performed. Adding that to my growing bucket list. This play becomes a lesson in how the illusions we make about our lives do not only affect the people that we tell them to, but will in the end be our undoing. The best way to go is the way of no illusion.


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