Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf


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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

 

        For this book talk, I read an Edward Albee's play, "Who's

Afraid of Virginia Woolf." I saw the movie version of this book,

which I found excellent, so it inspired me to read the book.

 

        The book begins when George, who is an associate

professor of a New England college, and Martha, who is the

daughter of the college professor comes home after a faculty

party. Although it is well after midnight and they are heavily

drunk, Martha invites another couple, Nick who is a new and young

professor in the college, and his wife Honey. The two couples

continue drinking at the living room of George and Martha's

house, and Martha starts complaining about George. She reveals

George's failure to advance in the college even if he has an

advantage as the son-in-law of the president. George tries to

revenge by telling Martha's weaknesses to the guests, and the

fight becomes impossible to stop making the new couple who tries

to stay detached also become caught up in it. As the fight goes

on and they become more drunk, Martha comes to mention about

George and she's imaginary son, who has been a secret between

them and a forbidden topic to tell others. Nick also tells their

painful secret that he married Honey because she thought she was

pregnant but that it turned out to be false. When everyone is

tired and humiliated as a result, George, who was very angry

about Martha's mentioning his son to the guests, he decides to

tell something that will change their lives forever as a final

revenge, and then the party comes to an end.

 

        The main theme of the book is the sadness and

difficulties of the adult life. In the story, George and Martha

cannot have a child because either of them is impotent, so they

had to make up an imaginary son. Here's a quotation about their

son form Martha. QUOTATION(p219) Martha's this description about

him shows how much they cared for him and wanted the real one.

Furthermore, they constantly fight with each other for trivial

subjects even though they really want to communicate more

seriously and understand deeper. The difference between their

view of life also worsens their marriage because Martha always

expects George to be more ambitious while George does not

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understand why. To the young couple, Nick and Honey, the adult

world is also cruel and bitter. The quarreling of the older

couple makes Honey sick because she realizes the hardship. They

understand and love each other only superficially because Honey's

hysterical pregnancy forced them to marry. Even after the

marriage, they deceive each other, and their lives are also

tragic. For example, Nick tries to make love with Martha while

Honey is sick and sleeping, and Honey deceives him by using birth

control secretly.

 

        The title of this book represents the theme very well.

Virginia Woolf was a gentle and sensitive author, so it is ironic

that any one is afraid of her. However, at the end of the story,

Martha says she is afraid of Virginia Woolf because after all she

found that the life is not easy as she thought.

 

        The difference between movie version and the book is very

little except that the movie has some music that make you feel

nervous and that the story takes place in various places, such as

a bar or road, while in the book, everything's done just in the

living room. However, it is very helpful to understand the story.

 

        This book is one of the best books I've read and I

enjoyed it very much. The movie version is also very good and

interesting because it is an old black and white movie. I would

recommend you this book for the next book talk and I think you

must read it especially if you have not read any play recently.

 


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