Death of a Salesman and Arthur Miller

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Death of a Salesman is the fictional play that tells the story of Willy Loman and his family’s relationship, which is dysfunctional to say the least. Scholars, playwrights, and actors easily label it alike as one of the most iconic pieces of literature in the 20th century. Written in 1948 by Arthur Miller, it still holds relevance today, more than 50 years later with themes of work and family issues. This is true because it is a story that people can relate to and understand. But this was not a story entirely fabricated by the genius mind of Arthur Miller; in fact, it was a story he was all too familiar with.

Miller was born in 1915 to an immigrant Jewish family (Miller, Timebends 3). He grew up in an affluent home in New York, with his parents and brother in an apartment overlooking central park. His father was a wealthy man who owned the Miltex Coat and Suit Company. The Millers took a major loss when the stock market crashed in 1929, forcing the father to dissolve his business. To accommodate to their new conditions, the family to move from their home in Harlem to Midwood, Brooklyn. The idea of such a major loss from his own immediate family would give enough material to discuss and fabricate an imaginative and magnificent play such as Death of a Salesman, but in fact, it was from another source (60 Minutes). The actual source for the inspiration of Miller’s play was from his salesman uncle that lived in Midwood, Manny Newman (Bigsby 373). Uncle Newman was believed that there was always a better tomorrow and hopeful for things to come. He always worked for the future and was always manipulating the facts. Not only that, but he would also boast about his sons’ prowess in the athletics and in the social setting. His son Buddy, played baseball, basketball and football and was mentioned in the Brooklyn Eagle, the local newspaper more than once (Miller, Timebends 123) and his peers liked him. His younger brother Abby was not far behind in sports and popularity....
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