© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


by Edward Albee

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Visions of America Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.

Quote #4

Nick: UP YOURS! […]
George: You take the trouble to construct a civilization…to…to build a society, based on the principles of…of principle […] then all at once […] through all the sensible sounds of men building […] comes the Dies Irae. And what is it? What does the trumpet sound? Up yours. (2.270-2.273)

This monologue could be seen as a lament for the death of the American Dream. Disenchantment was steadily growing in the '60s. People were beginning to ask themselves if all the building and growing America did post World War II really amounted to anything at all.

Quote #5

George: Godly money ripped from the golden teeth of the unfaithful, a pragmatic extension of the big dream (2.550)

By connecting the money that Honey's father swindled from his Church followers with the American dream, George corrupts the very idea of the American Dream itself. Is it awarded to the hardest working or to the most ruthless?

Quote #6

Honey: (Hysterical) Leave me alone…I'm going…to…be…sick. […]
George: The patterns of history. (2.588)

George's recognizes that this is the second time Honey has vomited. It's a cruel joke at her expense, but it has a larger purpose in the overall play. Here George recognizes that history has overall cyclical patterns; civilizations rise and fall. There was much speculation at the time of the play that the Cold War would be the end of not only America, but also quite possibly life on Earth.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...