Glengarry Glen Ross
by David Mamet
Glengarry Glen Ross Theme of Men and Masculinity
Take note: there is not a single woman in this play. A few women are mentioned, but we know nothing about them other than they are either ignored (Shelly's daughter) or disdained (Lingk's wife) or something to mock (Harriet Nyborg). This play is about men behaving in ways that they think men should behave in.
Manhood is linked to work in Glengarry Glen Ross. If a man is good at his job, he's a good man. If he's not good at his job, well then he might not even be a man at all. There is a contest that basically determines who is the alpha dog in the office, and they all buy into it.
Questions About Men and Masculinity
- How does work define manhood in Glengarry Glen Ross?
- Why do Roma and Levene view Williamson as less of a man than the salesmen in the office?
- What role do the women play in Glengarry Glen Ross?
- Was Levene the Roma of a decade earlier?
Chew on This
When Lingk's wife is mentioned, she's spoken of as a domineering figure in his life and the one with the power in the family. This seems like a foreign concept to the salesmen.
In this play, if you're good at your job, you're a good man. This means that not getting on the board and not closing isn't simply a sign that you are not selling well, it's also a sign that you have lost a piece of your manhood.