Places: Glengarry Glen Ross

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First published: 1983

First produced: 1983, at the Cottlesloe Theatre (National Theatre), London

Type of work: Drama

Type of plot: Psychological realism

Time of work: 1982

Asterisk denotes entries on real places.

Places DiscussedChinese restaurant

Chinese Glengarry Glen Rossrestaurant. Act 1 takes place in what is understood to be a typical Chinese restaurant in any large American city. No description of the interior is provided except that it has booths. Unlike many Chinese restaurants, this establishment serves alcoholic beverages, as the reader learns when Roma buys a round of gimlets for himself and Lingk. The salesmen are always talking about big sums of money, but they give the impression that they subsist on dishes of rice or noodles and chopped up vegetables. The restaurant is not much more than a door or two away from their office.

Real estate office

Real estate office. This place looks like every other real estate office in a big city, except that it has been ransacked. A broken window has been boarded up, and there is broken glass all over the floor. Even the telephones have been stolen in a vain attempt to divert suspicion from the real purpose of the burglary, to steal the fabulous Glengarry Glen Ross leads. It is immediately obvious that there is little in such an office worth stealing because no merchandise or money is kept on the premises. There is an outer office for the salesmen and an inner office for the manager, where Baylen, the detective, questions the salesmen one by one.

*Glengarry Glen Ross

*Glengarry Glen Ross. Real estate subdivision in far-off Florida, parcels of which are sold sight unseen by the high-pressure salesmen. The outlandishly romantic Scottish name, designed to help attract mailed-in “leads,” suggests the ironic contrast to the likely reality–flat, barren, grossly overpriced land infested with mosquitos and alligators, totally unimproved except for a billboard promising a future retirement paradise.

BibliographyAdler, Thomas P. Mirror on the Stage: The Pulitzer Plays as an Approach to American Drama, 1987.Bigsby, C. W. E. David Mamet. New York: Methuen, 1985. A study of the life and work of David Mamet, with one chapter devoted to a detailed discussion of Glengarry Glen Ross. This first book-length study of Mamet presents an interesting portrait of Mamet that is based partly on personal interviews.Carroll, Dennis. David Mamet. New York: Macmillan, 1987. An in-depth study of Mamet’s plays, grouping them thematically, with chapters on business, sex, learning, and communion. The chapter on “Business” compares Glengarry Glen Ross with another popular Mamet play, American Buffalo (1975).Davis, J. Madison, and John Coleman. “David Mamet: A Classified Bibliography,” in Studies in American Drama, 1945-Present. Vol. 1, 1986.Dean, Anne. David Mamet: Language as Dramatic Action. London: Associated University Presses, 1990. Focuses on Mamet’s poetic use of the American vernacular. Contains many quotes from five of Mamet’s plays and devotes a chapter to Glengarry Glen Ross.Jones, Nesta, and Steven Dykes, comps. File on Mamet. London: Methuen, 1991. This small book is packed with useful information about David Mamet, including excerpts from reviews of various performances of Glengarry Glen Ross. Detailed chronology and a bibliography.Mamet, David. Interview with Matthew C. Roudane, in Studies in American Drama, 1945-Present. Vol. 1, 1986.Mamet, David. Writing in Restaurants. New York: Viking Penguin, 1986. A collection of thirty essays in which Mamet expresses his thoughts about a number of subjects, including the theater and film making in Hollywood.Roudane, Matthew C. “Public Issues, Private Tensions: David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross,” in The South Carolina Review. XIX (1986), pp. 35-47.Storey, Robert. “The Making of David Mamet,” in The Hollins Critic. XVI (October, 1979), pp. 1-11.
Categories: Places