Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Glengarry Glen Ross

In a corrupt world of sales in the mid80's it’s not surprising to find a room full of masochistic men. It’s also not surprising that these men are immoral and shady characters. They represent the underbelly of the financially insecure.

Consider Roma who uses his persuasive gift of talk to find the weakness in unsuspecting "victims" like Lingk. He scratches at the sores he creates with his words and traps them in a fantasy world that's worthless.

There is Levene who begins the play with his whining and bribery of Williamson, the office manager. Levene begins the play in this manner and ends the play in the same manner after Williamson realized Levene stole the leads. Through Levene the pathetic nature of these salesmen are fully realized.

Ultimately, I feel these men are not immoral. They are however stuck in a world that won't let them be moral. They have allowed themselves to be dragged in through whatever circumstance. For Levene it was to provide for his family- most notably his daughter who he mentions a couple times in the play. He gets caught in the trap that is sales and leads. They all get caught in that trap and can’t get out.

On the flip side, marketing and sales lends itself to the unethical nature seen in the play. In stark contrast to the transparency practiced in public relations, this particular style of sales (I so hate to group all of sales here) is so remarkably opposite. They have no rules. Only a sad contest that pits one salesman against another.

The invisible characters, Mitch and Murray, perpetuate the unethical practices that cause such great strife. Even Graff who is thought to be more ethical by the other workers accepts the stolen leads.

Unethical practices trickle down the corporate ladder. If the bosses aren’t ethical, no one else could be expected to be. Ethical businesses are created on sound business practices. None of which could be found in this compelling play.

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