Glengarry Glen Ross: Pushed To The Limit

1118 words - 5 pages

In David Mamet’s play, “Glengarry Glen Ross”, a group of sales representatives, Shelly Levene, Richard Roma, Dave Moss, and George Aaronow, are placed into a competition that sets all of them against each other. Their bosses challenge the four men to compete in a sales competition where the winner with the most sales will receive a brand new Cadillac and the two people with the least sales will lose their job. With the ultimatum of losing their job, the men struggle to out due each other in hopes that they will be the victor. Through dialogue and tone, Mamet presents the characters with a sense of desperation and determination; thus, he propels the story into countless affairs of deception and cheating, and ultimately shows how people are willing to do whatever it takes to survive when driven to the edge and placed into a do-or-die situation.
The use of dialogue is essential to the representation of the characters and their conflicts in “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Language plays a dominant role in nearly all aspects of the play. Each individual in the play has their own unique way of communication, representing who they are as sales representatives. Take for instance, in Act I Scene I, Levene pleads to Williamson for better leads as Williamson is leaving the office. Although Williamson is not cooperative, Levene still stops Williamson several times and attempts to bargain. “Fuck it…. Get on my side. Go with me. Let’s do something,” Levene tells Williamson in the scene. This use of dialogue demonstrates Levene’s persistence and strong desire to succeed. Mamet emphasizes this with the use of syntax in the dialogue. With syntax, Mamet creates short sentences to show how Levene is trying to be straightforward and direct. Thus, emphasizing Levene’s desperation by creating a quick-paced rhythm to show how anxious he is. Mamet employs the same effects of dialogue when David Moss is discussing robbing the office with George Aaronow. Moss introduces the idea of robbing the office by telling Aaronow that they are “just talking” about stealing the leads. However, Moss slowly makes it apparent that he is only trying to trick Aaronow into becoming an accomplice. Like Levene’s conversation with Williamson, Moss and Aaronow’s conversation has the same flow of “speeches overlapping” and “thoughts unfinished”. The prompt dialogue adds to the confusion of the conversation and shows how Moss is trying to delude Aaronow into becoming an accomplice. Through this scene, Mamet shows that dialogue is a “claim to power”. The dialogue between Moss and Aaronow merely displays how the men are manipulating dialogue to obtain control and authority over others as shown through Moss’s ambiguous use of the word “talking”. In order to maintain his job, Moss is willing to mislead Aaronow. This shows that characters in the play are willing to deceive both their customers and each other. It also shows how language is used “to survive and to celebrate survival”. Throughout the play, the...

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