Death of a Salesman was written in 1949 in the period of literary realism (Na). In this play, Miller also integrated naturalism and expressionism. Expressionism is seen in the work because Willy sees not only reality, but also his past and he sees his brother Ben who is dead (Hoeveler). Willy imagines that his death will cause his son to praise him because through the insurance policy, the family would receive a sum of money to provide for themselves, but in reality, Linda, Biff, and Happy, wish that he wouldn’t have done that. Miller wanted Death of a Salesman to imitate a Greek Tragedy. In most Greek and Shakespearean Tragedies, the tragedy begins because of a flaw of the protagonist and in the end, the protagonist either has to live with their mistakes or they end up dying as a punishment. The play appears to be similar to the story of Oedipus written by Sophocles. Both Oedipus and Willy don’t really realize who they are until the end of the story (Perry). When Oedipus realizes that he killed his father and married his mother, he blinded himself and sent himself into exile. When Willy realized he was a failure after Howard fired him, he decided to kill himself because he had no other way to provide for his family. Arthur Miller was largely influenced by three writers, Bertolt Brecht, Henrik Ibsen, and George Bernard Shaw. Brecht would try to tell stories from a Marxist perspective and he always wanted the audience to be able to engage with what was happening on stage. Brecht also ended most of his plays in trial scenes in which the themes of the play and their political inferences would be argued. Shaw expressed his many social concerns in his plays. Ibsen scandalized subjects such as suicide, feminism, and ...
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...ails can be important. It showed me to keep my mind open to new insight even if I have already read the book, and to always see a book with fresh eyes so that I can possibly see a different perspective (Bronson).
Death of a Salesman is a critically acclaimed play which gives us insight into the mind of the traveling businessman and the struggles which he goes through. It shows that even good intentions do not make good actions and that objects such as love and affection are worth more than money, because in the end they are more long-term than financial success or a job. It provides insight into some of the more begrudgingly accepted, or even ignored truths of society. This play demonstrates that the American Dream is not always attainable, and that sometimes people aren’t great, that people can just be ordinary without being destined for anything greater.
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- Literary background Death of a Salesman was written in 1949 in the period of literary realism (Na). In this play, Miller also integrated naturalism and expressionism. Expressionism is seen in the work because Willy sees not only reality, but also his past and he sees his brother Ben who is dead (Hoeveler). Willy imagines that his death will cause his son to praise him because through the insurance policy, the family would receive a sum of money to provide for themselves, but in reality, Linda, Biff, and Happy, wish that he wouldn’t have done that.... [tags: George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, Literature]
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1535 words (4.4 pages)
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