10 December 2013
The Failed American Dream: Analysis of Death of a Salesman
A tragedy play is a source of drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to extreme suffer or sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with lack of approval or support. Arthur Miller’s tragedy play, Death of a Salesman can be viewed as a urology of a man who was a constant dreamer, which represents his life and tragic death as he tries to fulfill his visions of having the American Dream. American tragedy explores the great myths that govern a society by examining the lives of its most ordinary citizens. Miller vividly expresses ideas throughout his play by demonstrating a changing society. Also, reading Death of a Salesman allows the play to be psychologically viewed as one man’s journey from shame and his own lack of self-confidence. Arthur Miller portrays Willy, his family, and other characters situation by the use of symbolism and themes, he accurately puts into words what every human being thinks, feels, and worries about, but often has trouble expressing.
The lead character is Willy Loman, a failing door-to-door salesman coming to the end of his life but doggedly holding on to lost dreams. In the beginning of the play, we see Willy returning home to his wife Linda after almost crashing his car. Linda begins to worry about her husband and fears what may happen in the future. We soon learn why Willy is unable to continue his career as a salesman, which he has followed for many years. He starts to explain to his wife why he has returned so early and empty handed:
I was driving along, you understand? And I was fine. I was even observing the scenery.
You can imagine, me looking at scenery, on the road every week of my life. But it’s so
beautiful up there, Linda, the trees are so thick, and the sun is warm. I opened the
windshield and just let the warm air bathe over me. And then all of a sudden I’m...
Cited: Arthur Miller: A Critical Study (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005): 100-123. Copyright 2005 by Cambridge University Press. Reprinted by permission of Cambridge University Press.
Arthur Miller. Death of a Salesman. Kirszner and Mandell. Literature. 8th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cenage Learning, 2013. (p. 1447-1517). Print.
Family Dreams in Death of a Salesman. Irving Jacobson. American Literature, Vol. 47, No 2 (May 1975), pp. 247-258. Published by: Duke University Press.
Sinclair, Iain. Arthur Mitller 's Death of a Salesman. Australia: Insight Publications Pty, 2011. Insight Guide. Web. 7 Dec. 2013.
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