Stage to Screen
Death of a Salesman/You Can’t Take it With You
Death of a Salesman opens with Willy Loman returning from a business trip. He is an older gentleman and it is apparent in the first few paragraphs of the play that he has some sort of problem. He talks to himself and has vivid flashbacks from when his children were younger (he interacts with them) and regretfully remembers when he refused to go to Alaska with his brother, who subsequently discovered a diamond mine and became extremely rich. Loman’s two children, Biff and Happy, are home visiting and Loman’s relationship with his sons is not the best, especially with Biff. Biff holds hard feelings towards his father due to something he witnessed when he was in his teens and he and his father get into fights regularly. As the play continues, the reader discovers that Loman has been trying to kill himself for many years. When his sons find this out, Happy becomes irate and yells at Biff for his failure in the business world, which then gives Happy the idea to go into business with his brother.
In the next part of Death of a Salesman, Loman loses his job, Biff and Happy do not end up going into business together, and Biff and his father get into their final fight. Biff confronts his father about his suicidal tendencies and Biff breaks down in tears. Loman is touched by this, and soon everyone has gone to sleep except for himself. His wife calls out to him but she receives no answer. Happy, Biff and their mother hear Loman’s car speed away, and he dies.
You Can’t Take it With You did not have many similarities to Death of a Salesman, from what I could see. A wealthy man (Tony Kirby) and a woman (Alice Sycamore) from a very eccentric household fall in love and his family disapproves. Perhaps it could be similar in how Mr. Kirby disapproves of his son marrying Alice because of her family/background, and Mr. Loman disapproves of his son Biff because of his failure in the...
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