Plays are very informative and reflective, and this article delves into the various aspects of the play Death of a Salesman. My goal in this paper is to analyze the reasons as to why the drama production received a lot of accolades and awards while taking into consideration aspects of theme and characterization.
In life, we ought to strive to be go-getters so as to make it in life. This play is based on a sixty-three-year-old salesman named Willy who strives to work hard to meet the needs of his family. After many years of salesmanship, he later discovers that he had been a failure as a father. He outlived his usefulness ending up in committing suicide. The play won the Pulitzer award, and I feel it deserved it because of the following reasons. Firstly, it was the first play to receive three different awards in the same year (the Pulitzer, New York Drama Critic Circle and the Antoinette Perry Awards.) Based on the requirement that the book has to be the best for a particular period, the play was the first ever to be selected for the award of Book of the Month in February 1949 (Charles Grutzner 1949). The book strived to tackle larger issues regarding American national values by trying to show how Willy dreamed of being successful and wealthy and striving to ensure that his family is as comfortable as possible. Miller entices America with selling a false myth coined around a capitalist materialism nurtured by the postwar economy, a materialism that obscured the personal truth and moral vision of the original American Dream described by the countrys founders. The play deserved the Tony award since it had been revived on Broadway on four occasions
Willy is such a proud character since he declined without explanation the job that his prosperous neighbor offered him which might have been a chance to propel to be successful; rather, he committed suicide (Wade Bradford 2016). Willy has such a loyal and loving wife who understands him and soothes him whenever he seemed angered and was unable to comprehend why her husband took his life despite her commitment. Linda inspires hope since she believed that in the long run things would work out for her husband though the hopes wither with the death of Willy. Just like mothers, she was at times stern, resolute and confident towards her kids. She strives to ensure that her children tow the American dream that their father wanted. Happy on the other hand is an individual who never keeps his promises, especially that of getting married despite having a steady job. Biff is more likable and was fond of arguing with his dad who wanted him to channel his efforts in securing a 9-to-5 job yet he never liked such kinds of jobs. Biff is torn between chasing his fathers dream of business sales and capitalism and his personal dream of nature, outdoors and being hands-on.
The book is memorable as it was thought that it was meant for male theatre goers since it made men in the audience weep (Charles Grutzner 1949). The book inspiration comes from the conflicted relationship the author had with his uncle who was excited by how his son competed with Miller, a fellow salesperson. Miller initially wrote a short story about an unsuccessful salesman hence his relationship with his uncle, Manny Newman, revived his interest into writing such a memorable masterpiece. Despite Willys drive to make the American dream a reality, the family never realized it and all his sons went back to doing what pleased them. Of all characters, Ben, Willys brother, is the only one who achieves the American dream by making a fortune from scratch. The theme that life can at times be unfair is shown when Willy is fired from work when he went to his boss to ask for a raise yet he is fired! Lastly, the book is still famous in theater circles fifty years down the line.
In response to Elona Spaho, I am marveled by your grasp of the book. And your quote of dreaming big and not living the reality is worthless is very encouraging as it encourages me to live within my means despite aspiring for the comforts that life can offer. The book teaches me that parents ought not to force their ideals or aspirations through the throat of their children, rather they should let them pursue dreams they are talented in. As for Quinns post, I am also encouraged to go for more plays going forward. It is true that we should let our bosses appreciate us based on our true efforts and enthusiasm for work. I think it is rather dumb to reduce oneself to committing suicide for material gain which you will not be present to enjoy once you are dead. You dont have to be dead to be famous.
By Charles Grutzner . May 3, 1949New York times
Web https://www.nytimes.com/books/00/11/12/specials/miller-pulitzer.html 1988
Wade Bradford, A Critical Review of 'Death of a Salesman.' Updated Sept 21 2016
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