Study Guide

George Aaronow in Glengarry Glen Ross

By David Mamet

George Aaronow

Of all the characters in the play, it could be argued that Aaronow is the most sympathetic. While Mamet instills Levene with desperation and a need to succeed, he paints Aaronow as a man who has all but given up. In this way, Aaronow isn't unlike a lot of people out there who have fallen into a job that they just can't seem to escape—he dreads going into the office every day, but he's not in a position to leave since he needs the work. It's not a hard thing to relate to for a lot of people. On top of that, Aaronow doesn't possess the arrogance of the other men in the office. In fact, he goes the other way:

AARONOW: I'm no f***ing good. (2.1.105)

This all but sums Aaronow up in his own mind. But not only does he just not have what it takes, but on top of that, he hates the job. He describes himself as a "working man," and we know that this is just something he has to do to try to make ends meet.

Roma is even free with advice to Aaronow, and he takes some time to try to talk Aaronow out of his despair:

ROMA: Well, they're old. I saw that s*** they were giving you. (2.1.95)

Roma shows some form of kindness to Aaronow, because Aaronow is neither a threat nor an opportunity—he is just a guy struggling to get by. Roma (and all of us) know that he's never going to make it happen. He's not willing to take Moss up on the robbery, because he's not willing to take that step to succeed.

In the end, Aaronow closes with this:

AARONOW: Did the leads come in yet?


AARONOW: Oh, God, I hate this job. (2.1.1247-1248)

He hates the job, but he still wants to know about the leads, because this is the job he's got, and he has to at least keep trying to do it.