Sunday, October 19, 2008

Glenngary Glenn Ross

I've had less insight on this play than everything else we've read in class. True, it was a nice spin after King Lear; however, any sort of sales talk might as well be written the same way. I did enjoy the play, but I believe I'm just not used to that sort of literature. This play does have deeper meanings that Mamet wanted to express; however, it isn't found through the surface metaphors or symbolism. There is the exception of Roma's speech, which I enjoyed reading despite his blunt, vulgar approach. Though the fact that I enjoyed his speech might show that I might possibly have some newly acquired, but not quite sure how I got it, land.

Mamet is arguing against the cutthroat world of salesmen. When he wrote the play the world of sales and such were changing. Men like Levene are old news, and door to door sales aren't going to cut it anymore. However, it is Roma's less direct approaches which have put him into the lead. Throwing in a competition just continues makes the fast paced world of sales more cutthroat. Mamet shows that the idea of always having to be closing can end up with the people making greater sacrifices of morality. Sometimes morals and truth have to be sacrificed in order to make sales; however, Levene crossed the line when stealing from the company. I suppose it's the idea that doing whatever it takes to get the customer is fine, tell them their wildest dreams have come true, but never try to cheat the company.

I think the language also emphasises the idea of manliness in the play. As if the more times vulgar language is used, the more of a man the person is. Roma is successful in his unorthodox way of speaking to a customer. I believe Mamet argues if, really, does that make someone a man?

The movie gives an interesting view on the characters. I don't believe Roma's speech made as big as an impact on me as it did while reading it; however, I had a lot more sympathy for Levene. Possibly when I was reading the play, though often desperate, everyone just sounded so arrogant to me, and I tend to be quiet annoyed by arrogance. I'm interested in seeing the rest of the movie and how the rest of the act is played out.

It's not that I didn't enjoy Glenngary Glenn Ross, but I think people are forced to slow down the fast-paced style it was written it. Possibly even the style Mamet wrote it indicates the idea that you either have to catch and hold onto the fast paced world or you're going to fall behind and be left scratching your head wondering, "Wait, what just happened?"