Preview
Preview

Death of a contradictory salesman in the ambiguous birthday party Essay

:: 6 Works Cited
Length: 1013 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is a realist play which criticizes modern society; Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party is an absurdist play that examines human existence and language through deformed realism. There is apparently nothing common between the two plays; however, there is a similarity: contradiction and ambiguity are shown in the language of both plays. As I look into this issue, differences in the features and purposes of contradiction and ambiguity are found.
By contradiction and ambiguity, I mean that many details in the plays are contradicting according to different conversations in different scenes. As a result, no real happening can be obtained.
In Death of a Salesman, we cannot determine if Willy Loman was once a successful salesman or not. In Willy’s imaginary past, he described himself as a well-liked salesman who had opened up the market in New England. Later, when he talks with Howard, he claims that he averaged one hundred and seventy dollars a week in 1928, but Howard says that he never achieved that. Both of them are unreliable since Willy lives in dreams whereas Howard just wants to walk through the conversation, leaving an unclear answer to the question. Linda affirms Willy’s words by telling her sons that when Willy was young, his buyers were glad to see him and he was a pioneer of new territories for the company. Yet, her words are as well not trustworthy because Linda always backs up Willy’s fantasies. Just as she admits to Biff, she will do everything to keep Willy happy and bright.
There are even more equivocal points in The Birthday Party. As stated by Dukore (1962), “each piece of knowledge is a half-knowledge” (p. 44). McBride (2012) also observes that “the only truth of The Birthday Party...


... middle of paper ...


...n&folderAccountType=M&folderAccount=7422&folderID=102887&folderName=Death+of+a+Salesman&viewOption=NoIcon&moduleID=7422&fileID=618616&fileName=Cardullo.pdf
Koprince, S. (2012). The secret life of Willy Loman: A Miller-Thurber connection. The Midwest Quarterly, 53(4), 317-328. Retrieved from https://iln.hksyu.edu.hk/ILN/DownloadFileAction.do?Flag=Module_File_Operation&folderAccountType=M&folderAccount=7422&folderID=102887&folderName=Death+of+a+Salesman&viewOption=NoIcon&moduleID=7422&fileID=618618&fileName=Koprince.pdf
McBride, M. R. (2012). The Birthday Party bibliography. Retrieved December 29, 2013, from http://www.gradesaver.com /the-birthday-party /study-guide /bibliography/
Murphy, B. (1999). “Personality wins the day”: Death of a Salesman and popular sales advice literature. South Atlantic Review, 64(1), 1-10. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3201741


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Death of a Salesman Essay - It is known that in literature, a tragedy is one of the most popular genres. It always combines some story which discusses human sufferings with a certain sense of audience fulfillment. The roots of the tragedy are related to ancient Greece. A Greek tragedy is a sad story, which represents a character with a tragic flaw leading to his downfall. In addition, in traditional tragedy, the main character falls from high authority and often it is predetermined by fate, while the audience experiences catharsis (Bloom 2)....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1644 words
(4.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The American Dream in Death of a Salesman - "The American Dream" is based on the 'Declaration of Independence´: 'We believe that all men are born with these inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.´ (Thomas Jefferson, 1776). This 'dream´ consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, regardless of birth or wealth; you work hard enough you will achieve anything. However, Miller says people have been 'ultimately misguided´. The origins of the American Dream seem to have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the 18th and 19th century immigrants, most of whom came to America because of a promise of a new and better life....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1563 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The American Dream Conspiracy in Death of a Salesman Essays - Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of the failure of a salesman, Willy Loman. Although not all Americans are salesmen, most of us share Willy’s dream of success. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must outnumber successes.(Samantaray, 2014) Miller amalgamates the archetypal tragic hero with the mundane American citizen. The result is the anti-hero, Willy Loman. He is a simple salesman who constantly aspires to become 'great'....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]
:: 3 Works Cited
1739 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy - Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy The question which arises within Death of a Salesman is, 'Is this a modern Tragedy?' A tragic play can be commonly observed when a protagonist falls from a great height. His decline is not about immediate death, although in most cases death becomes apparent at the end of the play, e.g. Macbeth. A tragedy shows the suffering of a character and utter compulsion of him if he does not succeed to reach his dream. These plays show the blissful release from intolerable suffering this character feels....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1182 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman Essay - A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman       Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman can be seen as an eulogy of a dreamer, which depicts one man's tragic life and death as he tries to bring his family into grace.   Miller does, however, also uses this play to express underlying themes and ideas.  Reading Death of a Salesman from the starting point of a Marxist results in the perception that miller uses his play as a means to demonstrate the effects of a changing capitalist society....   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
3504 words
(10 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Impact of Isolation in Death of a Salesman Essay - Impact of Isolation in Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman is the story of a man, Willy Loman, gone deaf to the outside world. Though many try to help him, he shuts them out and creates his own reality in which he is successful and loved by everyone. In Death of a Salesman, Willy has many influences both good and bad attempting to direct his life; it is his refusal to choose the helpful advice that will ultimately lead to his downfall....   [tags: Death Salesman essays] 873 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Inner Conflict in Death of a Salesman Essay - Inner Conflict in Death of a Salesman The main conflict in Death of a Salesman deals with the confusion and frustration of Willy Lowman. These feelings are caused by his inability to face the realities of modern society. Willy's most prominent delusion is that success is dependant upon popularity and having personal attractiveness. Willy builds his entire life around this idea and teaches it to his children. When Willy was young, he had met a man named Dave Singleman who was so well-liked that he was able to make a living simply by staying in his hotel room and telephoning buyers....   [tags: Death Salesman essays] 1435 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman Essay - The Shattered Dream in Death of a Salesman          In America, anyone with some drive, some talent, and half a brain can be a success.  Or so Willy Loman believes.  Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man who seems predestined for failure, though he tries his best to succeed. Willy Loman is a symbol for the common man who tries and tries and tries, but is somehow unable to attain the "American Dream" of status and success.              Miller combines the archetypal tragic hero with the common American citizen....   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1759 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Death Of A Salesman Annotated Bibliography - Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" reflects the numerous issues post-war United States was dealing with during the late 1940's when it was written. Death of a Salesman was written and published in 1949, when the United States was booming with new economic capabilities and new found power, resulting in a golden age regardless of the growing tensions of the threat of communist invasion. Racial violence and the escalating issues regarding the deluded American dream that was turning out to be quite different than that which our founding fathers had originally idealized....   [tags: Miller Death Salesman] 1490 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Automobile in Death of a Salesman Essay - The Automobile in Death of a Salesman        In modern society, most Americans own an automobile. In the wealthier households, a family of four may own as many as three to four automobiles, one for each driver living in the house. However, the automobile has not always been a staple of living in America.  In the 1940s, a family with an automobile was considered well-to-do, as well as wealthy and hard-working.  It is during this time period that Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, is set....   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1661 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]