How Does Death Of A Salesman Reflect The American Dream

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Abstract: Arthur Miller is known for addressing serious social issues in his plays. His Death of a Salesman reflects the American society of the times in which it was written. The main character, Willy Loman is the victim of the American dream that makes him strongly believe in the possibility of attaining wild and grand success in a land of immense possibilities. Willy takes his own life in his vain pursuit of success. Death of a Salesman met with instant success when it was first staged in 1940’s, as the Americans could instantly connect with the tragedy of Willy. However, the voice of a good piece of literature rings true in all ages. Willy Loman’s story also seemed to repeat itself only recently when the common American found himself caught …show more content…
A cursory reading of the play might mislead a reader into thinking that the play is written to give us insights into the psychology of Willy Loman on the last day of his life. However, on a close reading we find that the play not only mirrors the American society of the 1940’s but also talks about man in relation with the society of his times. We soon realize that the reasons behind Willy’s current disturbed state of the mind are linked to the beliefs that the American society has always fostered in its citizens since its inception. The play was no less than a grim warning by Miller. Since a good work of literature has a perennial beauty, Death of a Salesman can also be very relevant and meaningful even in the present context where the common man is caught in an upheaval over which he has no control and which is sure to spell his …show more content…
That Miller wanted to give us a glimpse into the mind of the central character is evident from the fact that Miller had at first thought of giving this play the title “The Inside of His Head.” 2 Though Miller thought the better of giving this title, Death of a Salesman definitely looks like a drama of individual psychology. In Willy’s case, past keeps on interfering with the present. During the dream sequences, Willy seems unable to tell the truth from fantasy, the present from the past and engages in conversations with unseen persons. Miller’s technique in this play seems very close to the stream of consciousness technique. When a sequence from the past comes, the audience gets sufficient hints. In the scenes of the past, the characters enter or leave by stepping through the walls of the transparent set. Moreover, there is a variety of music and this helps the reader and the viewer to find the transition from past to present and vice versa. Whenever flute music is played, we know that Willy’s mind is lapsing into the past. The music accompanying the boys is gay and when Ben comes on the stage there is a different kind of

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