Death of a Salesman (Plus 2 Related Texts) - Journeys

Topics: Death of a Salesman, Edvard Munch, The Scream, Existentialism, Sylvia Plath / Pages: 5 (1136 words) / Published: Jul 15th, 2013
Although, literally, a journey is a progression, either physically, psychologically or emotionally, the detours that are encountered can vary from person to person. Further it is the response of the individual to the challenges of the detours that provide lessons that may be learnt. Differing representations of journeys and their challenges are explored in Death of a Salesman a play written in the context of the disillusionment of post war America by Arthur Miller, through the character of Willy Loman who confronts disappointment as he wastes his time consuming himself in his unachievable dream of ‘the perfect world’, ultimately causing his own destruction. Loman represents an American archetype a victim of the American dream, suffering from his delusions and obsession with success, which haunt him with a sense of failure. In the modernist poem “Mirror”, written by Sylvia Plath, she represents a woman’s response to the sudden realisation of loss and ageing. In a tone similar to Death of a Salesman, of depression and fear, Plath’s subject is an archetype of inevitability of death. The Scream, a futuristic painting by Edvard Munch, embodies the individual facing choices on the path of fear, angst and alienation which has become an iconic motif for the plight of contemporary individuals. The individuals portrayed show responses and repercussions to the inevitable unexpected situations that occur in life’s journey that challenge and inspire.

Willy Loman’s “journey” was a combination of physical and psychological, but mentally he wasn’t moving forward, he seemed to be going in the opposite direction. Willy’s lack of journey showed as his final act was selfish. Willy struggles to survive in a world where time is against him, he is engulfed in his materialistic views which lead him to push everyone away. Miller’s use of literary techniques exposes Willy’s distorted state develops into his motives of suicide.
A major unexpected detour for Willy Loman in Death of a

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