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Name : Astrid Widya Natasha

NPM : 180410110210
Subject : Further Studies in Drama (Final Paper)

Short Essay of Albees the Zoo Story

The motive that Jerry has to interrupt Peters routine, which is sitting on a bench
in Central Park reading his favorite book, has come to a conclusion, which seems
to me is very strange. Jerry who is living in an upper-middle class life terribly
wants a life that he visions it as an ideal life. The idea of an ideal life that Jerry
wants is what he sees in Peter who is middle aged man who has a wife and two
daughters. Jerrys behavior towards Peter that is bugging his routine is a proof
that he wants to make a change in Peters life. Jerry lives in an apartment and he
has neighbors that also have a strange behavior just like him as it describes in a
part of the dialog:
[Jerry] I'll tell you why I do it; I don't talk to many people except
to say like: give me a beer, or where's the john, or what time
does the feature go on, or keep your hands to yourself, buddy.
You know things like that.
From the text above, I can clearly see and picture Jerry as a lonely man that has
no friend to talk to. He seems to be surrounded by loneliness. This conclusion
has also made me think that is why Jerry needs someone to acknowledge him
who also recognizes him. He finds all he needs in Peter as Peter begins to give a
reaction towards his effort of bothering Peter in a form of rhetorical question
given by Jerry or irritating tickles that makes Peter laughs. Jerry intrudes Peters
life by starting to make a simple conversation that in the end leads Peter to have
a feeling of guilty.
In the middle of his conversation, Jerry, then, confess his feeling about his being
lonely. He begins it with a story about his behavior towards his landladys dog. In
fact, it seems that Jerry is, again, trying to provoke Peter by telling the story
about the dog. Jerry tells Peter that he cannot make any relation to anybody, for
instance to his landladys dog.
[Jerry] Now, here is what I had wanted to happen: I had tried to love, and
I had tried to kill, and both had been unsuccessful by themselves. I hoped
and I don't really know why I expected the dog to understand anything,
much less my motivationsI hoped that the dog would understand."
The statement is taken when Jerry tells a story about her landladys dog. From
the statement above, it seems that Jerry wants Peter to pay attention to him. He
tries to link his perception to Peter so that Peter could understand him.
According to Jerry, there is a thin line between love and hate. He is a type of
person who cannot control his emotion and would use extreme ways to describe
his emotional feelings by violating someone, in this case is the dog. He eventually
does not make an attempt to kill the dog yet this accident is a proof that he
cannot relate to anybody, including the dog.
Moreover, most of the conversations that Jerry and Peter have in the entire play
are pointless dialogue that Jerry does to provoke Peter to give him attention.
Peter, by chance, keeps on responding which makes Jerry thinks that Peter is the
one who can be his companion. This pointless conversation that Jerry has is a
part of absurdity in the absurd play of Albee. It is, however, a reflection what is
real in the real life situation. As Esslin says on his essay The Theatre of the
Absurd:
The Theatre of the Absurd, however, can be seen as the reflection of what
seems to be the attitude most genuinely representative of our own time.
Surely, the absurdity of this play demonstrates how the play has a problem in
communication. I mean the absurdity is there when Jerry is talking to Peter
which most of the conversation is done by the monologue of Jerry. Peter is a
character that is quite relaxed yet responsive. The conversation that is wavering
and repeating the same question such as talking about the zoo, seems to me as a
reflection on the real life when people keeps repeating the same routine over
and over in a certain period of time. The emotional identification with the
characters somehow,

Talking about the zoo, there are also symbols that Albee used in his works such
as Zoo and Bench. There is a conversation when Jerry is dying to have Peters
bench, which Peter usually sits there whenever he comes to the park. Somehow
Peter refuses to give away his bench because he thinks he owns it as he always
sits there everyday. Jerry, in his need of attention, forces Peter to give the bench
as he thinks that Peter already has everything that Jerry has not. In this case is a
family (a wife, two daughters, and two parakeets). Actually, there is an
unreasonable thought of Jerry who thinks there is somewhat a connection
between a family and a bench. What makes Jerry needs the bench is probably
because he thinks
Bench is a symbol of power that Peter has that Jerry always wants.
[Peter] But. what ever for? What is the matter with you? Besides, I see
no reason why I should give up this bench. I sit on this bench almost
every Sunday afternoon, in good weather. Its secluded here; theres
never anyone sitting here, so I have it all to myself.
In a conversation above it shows that Peter claims the bench as his for there is no
one would sit there instead of himself. However, Jerry who does not like the idea
exclaims:
[Jerry] Get off this bench, Peter; I want it.
[Peter] No.
[Jerry] I said I want this bench, and Im going to have it. Now get over
there.
Peters refusal to give away the bench to Jerry has made him raises his anger. It
does not matter how Jerry would get the bench. He wants it so bad. He wants
everything that makes Peter comfortable, such as the bench. It seems that Jerry
wants to make Peter realize that he needs to get away from his comfort zone and
shares it with everyone else, which is Jerry. In the other way, Peter wants Jerry
to stop bothering him. Peter thinks that he already gives Jerry his time to listen
to him telling stories and it is enough. This difference point of view makes these
two characters continues their wavering conversation.
As the play is rolling, Jerry and Peter are also talking about the zoo. The story of
the Zoo that Jerry wants to talk about it with Peter seems to me that it is just an
empty talk to drag Peters attention. Throughout the play, Jerry mentions about
the zoo over and over again.
Zoo is also a place where wild animals are living in a cage and trapped to be
watched and divided according to each class.


In conclusion, the death of the tragic protagonist seems to me, as one of Jerrys
attempts to make Peter cannot live a life the way he used to do. Actually, the one
who holds the knife while Jerry drops his body towards it does not have to be
Peter. Unfortunately, there is only Peter, who are there sitting in a bench doing
his routine, that is paying attention. The act of Jerry seems to the audience as a
ridiculous act while actually