David Mamet and Male Friendship: Buddy Plays and Buddy Films by Arthur Holmberg

By Arthur Holmberg

Utilizing insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the background of sexuality, Holmberg explores the anomaly that drives male bonding. own interviews with Mamet and with the actors who've interpreted his significant roles make clear how and why males bond with one another and supplement shut research of Mamet's texts.

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6 Walker does not mention it, but “business calls” can also express affection, albeit covertly. Acknowledging emotional dependency on another man threatens male autonomy. To maintain an image of strength, independence, and self-sufficiency—important components of hegemonic masculinity—men blur the boundary between their emotional needs and work. At the beginning of act two, Bobby arrives unexpectedly at the junk shop. Since Don is waiting for Teach and Fletch to pull off the burglary and since he feels guilty about having cut Bob out of the deal, he is annoyed: DON: What are you doing here?

He lets Teach grab power through verbal manipulation. 19 After Teach throttles Bobby (94), Bobby admits he lied. He never spotted the mark. In Mamet’s parody of a heist film, the fools were on a fool’s errand. In frustration and anger, Teach smashes the shop with a pig iron. In the course of the play, the pig iron, symbol of Chicago capitalism,20 has become associated with betraying one’s friends for a few pieces of silver (6–7, 35, 38–39, 74–75). Blazing chaos about, Teach sputters some of the most beautiful lines of contemporary poetry in English: My Whole Cocksucking Life.

I am not mad at you. DON: I know. TEACH: All right, then. DON: You have a good nap. TEACH: I will. (54–55) There is no more poignant male version of parting-is-such-sweet-sorrow. Under the patter we hear Teach’s muffled cry for love. Teach is furious at Don, who has decided to ask Fletch to join the caper. In the film, when Teach hears Fletch’s name, Hoffman looks up, eyes dark pools of hurt and fear. Not only has Don not reassured Teach of his affection, he has also insulted his masculinity by insisting that they need Fletch, Don’s beau idéal of a man.

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