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Glengarry Glen Ross | Study Guide

David Mamet

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Glengarry Glen Ross | Symbols



The "leaderboard" the salesmen and John Williamson talk about is a ranked list of the office's salesmen by dollars of sales brought in during the month. In many productions of Glengarry Glen Ross, including the movie version, the leaderboard is on a chalkboard, though David Mamet doesn't specify this in the manuscript of the play. In any case the leaderboard is a visual representation of each salesman's standing not only in the monthly contest but also in the office. Richard Roma is the top salesman so far this month. As such he gets the most respect in the office. Williamson doesn't hassle him when he refuses to take any of the leads from the "nostalgia file," and even Shelly Levene—who is jealous of Roma's success—is hard-pressed for negative things to say about him. Dave Moss is next on the list. He is well regarded but not as much as Roma, who lambasts Moss for his recent lackluster performance.

It's unclear whether George Aaronow is on the board. If he is, he's toward the bottom. Levene, one of the worst performers in the office, has no sales on the board at all until he closes the deal with the Nyborgs. "Get the chalk and put me on the board," he cries upon returning to the office. Until that moment neither Levene nor Aaronow are thought of as particularly good salesmen, and Williamson and the other team members take advantage of that. Moss tries to con Aaronow into robbing the office for him, then gets Levene to do it instead. He knows they are desperate and therefore likely to do his dirty work. Likewise, Williamson treats Levene as if he's worthless as a salesman and undeserving of good leads. In this sales office a man's status is directly connected to the level of his sales.

Jerry Graff

Jerry Graff is mentioned by name but never appears onstage during Glengarry Glen Ross. A former employee of Mitch and Murray's, he left the company and started his own investment property enterprise. He buys his own lists, makes the sales, and keeps all the profit. This seems like a dream situation to Dave Moss, who is tired of taking only 10 percent of what he earns for Mitch and Murray's company. Mitch and Murray, he says, treat their salesmen "like children [and] ... leave them to fend for themselves." Jerry Graff, on the other hand, is beholden to no one. For Moss, Graff symbolizes freedom from the tyranny of corporate overlords, the freedom to make one's own rules, and the freedom to earn as much money as one wants.

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