The objective of this form of drama is to debunk all traditions and convention, rendering humanity senseless and useless-or absurd, in this case.
The characters in "The Sandbox", typical of absurd theatre, are usually portrayed as existing-as opposed to living-in a meaningless environment; this correlates to the incomprehensible thought and action assigned to them. However, further inquiry into the representations of each action and line reveals the purpose of each character; in "The Sandbox", the character Mommy is perhaps the most 'absurd', in the sense that her established actions and goals belie the real reason for such. Of the many factors that influenced Mommy, the fear of death exerts the strongest influence, as shown by her obvious hurry to lead Grandma, her mother, to the inevitable circumstance.
Mommy, more than middle-aged at fifty-five, clearly embodies the stereotype female who possibly has much regret over the part of her life that had passed, and the remainder that she needs to face. Within the illogical sequence of mood and statement of her character, Mommy may be seen as grasping for control-or at least much more than what she has already achieved in life. Her didactic solutions to situations, albeit according to the style of absurd theatre, show the degree of pretense existing between her and her husband, Daddy. By replying to Daddy's question regarding making conversation, she blankly replies, "Well, you can talk, if you want to...if you can think of anything new," which expresses a negative attitude toward her own life and family, which may be correctly interpreted as discontent or lack of interest.
III. Fear of Death
The almost mechanical behavior of Mommy toward Grandma's expected passing gives the impression that she would rather expedite the whole process in order to dismiss what would eventually befall her. By dictating various instructions to the other characters, as well as to those referred to offstage, Mommy attempts to go beyond the boundaries of nature. She and Daddy bring Grandma to the sandbox to wait for the eventuality of death; when it happens, Mommy makes what seems to be her only meaningful statement, "Our long night is over." She clearly meant it not in reference to Grandma's situation, but her own grappling and fear of death. However, the author's specification of a sandbox may be assumed to allude to freedom and choice-the way children are encouraged to create and play within the confines of the space. Mommy's decision to leave Grandma in the sandbox merely allowed the latter to find peace in a limited environment, that would not affect all other constructs established by Mommy for her personal use.
Albee's depiction of Mommy, within the text of absurd theatre, should implicitly convey her reality; being her mother's daughter, she would logically assume the same circumstance to happen to her. However, Mommy's fears failed to let her connect with the possible calm and content that may come in the hereafter-to the point that she was more than willing to believe that she could maintain her current life, while unsatisfactory, the way it is.
Albee, Edward. "The Sandbox". The