Study Guide

Glengarry Glen Ross Ambition

By David Mamet


You want to be #1 on the board, don't you? Or, better yet, you want to be your own boss? Maybe you want to relive those glory days when you were the king around these parts and everybody looked up to you and listened to all your stories. Heck, maybe you just want to make a decision on your own for once in your life.

Everybody in Glengarry Glen Ross wants more out of a life, and it becomes a question of what each of them is willing to do to get it. Ambition drives conflict in this play, and conflict pushes us through from start to finish.

Questions About Ambition

  1. What does Levene want from Williamson? Why?
  2. What does Moss get if the robbery works?
  3. Is Moss's dream of going into business for himself a realistic dream? Do you think that situation would eliminate all of the problems he has with work?
  4. Is ambition a fatal flaw for some of these men? Is it what brings them down in the end?

Chew on This

Of all of the salesmen, Aaronow seems to lack ambition the most. He is also the only moral and ethical character.

The contest is designed to spark ambition. They should want to sell more in order to win (or at least keep their jobs), but it ends up crippling the salesmen.