AD's English Literature : Analysis of Arthur Miller’s "The Death of Salesman" as Essential Conflict between Public Image and the Real Personality

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Analysis of Arthur Miller’s "The Death of Salesman" as Essential Conflict between Public Image and the Real Personality

 
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman was a thumping success of Broadway, New York (city). Undoubtedly, almost poetic terms 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. The tragic story of Willy Loman, an average traveling salesman much like Miller’s father 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.
               
Regarding its essential theme, different explanations have been forwarded; some regard it as communist propaganda denouncing capitalisn 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 regards it as warning of the meaningless  and futility of life in a society where religion has been thrown to days. Miller rejects the validity of any of these interpretations as his intention was none of these argument.

Essential Conflict between Public Image and the Real Personality: So it is for us to deduce the essential theme of the play we should take care to see that our vision is not partial. The essential theme in Death of a Salesman appears to be the one that recants  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 aw are 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 lessened to cleave Miller who has really excelled himself in dealing with these subjects .

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: "A little frame house in a sheet of little frame houses, which .... with the noise of groaning boys, and then was empty and silent, and finally occupied by strangers – strangers who could not know with what conguestadorial joy Wily and his boys had once resigned the roof. Now it was guilt in the house, and the wrong people in the beds."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.  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 the chamois cloths are. And the endless, convoluted discussion, wonderment, arguments, belittlement, 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 ."

   Ardhendu De   

Ref: Wikipedia, Encarta, Dr. Sonpath' Lecture at American Drama in Depression 

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