Essay: “The Iceman Cometh” and “Death of a salesman”
“The Iceman cometh” and “Death of a salesman’’ are two plays written by different authors and in different periods of time. However there have a lot in common and many differences too.
Firstly, the two main characters work as salesmen, Hickey is a hardware salesman and Willy a traveling one .Even so, Hickey, a self-confident man arrives at Harry Hope’s saloon to play the savior to a bunch of deadbeats. He, like a Messiah, comes preaching his new gospel of salvation, and tries to save the group from their misery. In their eyes, he is the God, who will give them the real peace. Willy, otherwise, is an insecure and self-deluded man who, disappointed many times by his family and by all the society, recognizes the emptiness of his life and tries to fix it.
The word “dream” is widely used in both plays as a compound word “pipe dream” and “daydream”. Hickey destroyed his dreams and urges the group to do the same with their vain pipe dreams; he has also freed his wife, Evelyn from her pipe dream of his impossible change; from an alcoholic to a normal man. Willy, instead, tries to escape the reality, he changes his interpretation of reality according to his psychological needs at the moment in his daydreams. He “enters” in his daydreams not only to escape the present but also to examine the past to find the mistakes that he made that smashed his hopes for fame and fortune and destroyed his relationship with his son, Biff. So this is one of the differences; in “Death of a salesman” past and present flow into one another simultaneously.
Regret is a motif that circulates throughout both plays. Hickey regreted because he made her wife believe that he could change, but he didn’t regret for killing her; he managed to save her from the vain pipe dream; he doesn’t do anything to change it. Willy, instead, has had a life full of regrets. He didn’t manage to create a strong, united and happy family as the American...
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