AD's English Literature : Critical Analysis: Theme and Image: Miller’s The Death of Salesman

Critical Analysis: Theme and Image: Miller’s The Death of Salesman



Theme and image: The Death of Salesman: Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1949) was a thumping success; won the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and is considered a milestone in America drama. Undoubtedly, the play consisted of themes and images that had a mass appeal. The play got a variety of interpretation. The reaction of scholars and drama critics was a mixed one. They have explained painstakingly why it is or is not a great play or a genuine tragedy.

Regarding its essential theme, different explanations have been forwarded; some regard it as communist propaganda denouncing capitalism in all its muck and sooty filth, which others view it as a sympathetic stud , of the problems of big  business . some have interpreted it in exclusively Freudian terms have attributed to its author , rigid psychological theories .A catholic view of the play recognize it as warning of the meaningless  and futility of life in a society where religion has been thrown to days . Read More about American literature    
Miller rejects the validity of any of these interpretations as his intention one of the others.

Essential Conflict between Public Image and the Real Personality: The essential theme in Death of a salesman appears to be the one that recurs in Miller’s plays. It is the relationship between man’s identity as an individual and the image that society demands of him .The playwright, in the process of the play shows us , how we are the cause of disappointment to those we love ,by disappointing our own selves .He depicts the torment of family tensions ,the compensations that friendship provides the heart break that accompanies, hurt ego and last confidence. He is aware of loyalties not blind but open eyed, that are needed to support lonely mortals the playwright displays his insight in to,and his dexterity at , the depiction of an anatomy of failure , the pathos of age , and the tragedy of those years when life is an its descent from the hill , it has laboured to climb Millen has really excelled himself in dealing with these subjects . Death of a Salesman tells, in almost poetic terms, the tragic story of Willy Loman, an average man much like Miller’s father. Loman is a traveling salesman who has devoted his life to the pursuit of “success.” His misguided philosophy has ruined the lives of his wife and two sons. When Loman is too old to travel, he loses his job. In a series of scenes, brilliantly dramatized by the playwright, Loman relives his experiences. Eventually his mind begins to fail, and he commits suicide. Read More about American literature

THE PLAY Grew OUT OF IMAGES: - Although Miller generally wrote in a realistic style , much of Death of a Salesman is conveyed expressionistically through Willy Loman’s mind and memory. As Loman becomes more and more absorbed by scenes from his past, the action progressively takes place in his mind. The play becomes a collage of memories with rapid, surreal shifts in setting and time. Its expressionistic setting is ideally suited to the dialogue, which, though recognizably colloquial, is eloquent and lyrical. 
According to Miller, the play grew from simple images. A key to the Underlying theme of the play is grown by Miller’s deception from which the play grew in his mind. Read More about Drama   
  1. A little frame house in a sheet of little frame houses , which lad queen from land with the noise of groaning boys , and then was empty and silent ,and finally occupied by strangers – strangers who could not know with what conquistadorial  joy wily and his boys had once resigned the roof . Now it was guilt in the house, and the wrong people in the beds.
  2. It grew from images of futility – the cavernous Sunday of tendons polishing the can .Where is that car now? And the chamois cloths carefully washed and put up to dry, where are the chamois cloths . Read More about American literature
 And the endless ,convoluted discussion , wonderments , arguments , belittlements , encouragements , fiery resolutions ,abdications , returns , parties Voyage out voyage back , tremendous opportunities and small , squeaking denouement and all in the kitchen now occupied by stranger  who cannot lean what the walls are saying . Read More about Drama   
  1. The images of aging and so many of your friend already gone and stranger in the seats of the mighty who do not know you or your triumphs on your incredible value .
  2. The images of the sons lard public eye upper you. No longer swept by the myth, no longer reusable from the separateness, no longer knowing you have lured for him and have weft for him.
  3.  The image of ferocity when love has tuned to something eve and yet is there, is somewhere in the room if one could only find it.
    Ardhendu De     

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