A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman Essay

A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman Essay

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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.

 On the other hand, a psychological reading of Death of a Salesman allows

the play to be seen as one mans flight from shame and his own weakened self

image.  The Marxist perspective is a viable reading of this drama but it

does not truly define it as a tragedy.  To better understand this piece of

literature as a tragedy one should observe the psychological reading which

depicts the tragedy of one man.


      Many people wonder if Willy is really responsible for his own death,

or is he, as Luke Carrol put it in the Herald Tribune, " a pathetic little

man caught in an undertow that's too strong for him."  Willy Loman is

bewildered by a capitalist system which drives it's men into frantic, all

consuming dreams of success, doomed not only by their grandiosity but also

their inherent contradictoriness.


      Willy's dreams of success are rooted in the concept of the

"American Dream", which is the idea that this is a land of unlimited

opportunity in which any ragamuffin can attain riches and any mother's son

can become president (Hadomi 159).  This concept of success is personified

by two characters in the play:  David Singleman and ...

... middle of paper ...

...true tragedy of this play.


Works Cited


Breecher, Richard.  "Willy Loman and the Soul of a Neew Machine:

Technology and the      Common Man."  Journal of American Studies  17 (Dec.

1983):  325 - 336.


Hadomi, Leah.  "Fantasy and Reality:  Dramatic Rhythm in Death of a

Salesman."  Modern      Drama  31 (June 1988):  157 - 174.


Koon, Helene, ed.  Twenteth Century Interpretations of Death of a Salesman.

New Jersey:       Prentice Hall, 1983.


Meyer, Micheal.  The Bedford Introduction to Literature.  Boston:  Bedford

Books of St. Martin's   Press, 1989


Sue, David, Sue, Derald, and Sue, Stanley.  Understanding Abnormal Behavior.

 Boston:   Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.


Welleck, Judith S.  "Kohut's Tragic Man."  Clinical Social Work Journal.

(1993):  216 - 224



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