Postmodernism in American Literature Death Essay

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The scene is interrupted by the laughter of a woman, Willy's mistress, which only Willy could hear. When Willy approaches his mistress, he engages in another daydream. This is how discontinuity is illustrated in the Death of a Salesman. In this manner of storytelling, many questions arise as to how the story really goes. This renders some confusion to a reader since the plot jumps around. This manner of storytelling is different from the traditional way of storytelling wherein the story is told in a fluid, continuous manner. Arthur Miller ignored the standard rule of form when it comes to telling a story. This manner of storytelling is also characteristic of postmodern literature where confusion and incoherence is celebrated.

Another element of Death of a Salesman that adheres to the postmodern movement is its focus on Willy Loman's story. By focusing on Willy Loman alone, Death of a Salesman disregards the use of grand narratives which have been traditionally used. This is also another characteristic of postmodern works. Death of a Salesman focuses on the mini-narrative that is Willy Loman's life. It is focused on the relatively short and small life of a singular person. It makes no connection with the bigger issues.

Lastly, the tone or the attitude of the story also adheres to the postmodern movement. To a degree, there are scenes that take on a dramatic and tragic tone, which is not characteristic of postmodernism. However, the ending takes on a celebratory tone when Linda, Willy's wife, celebrates his death seeing it as a form of freedom -- freedom from financial difficulties. This attitude is highly characteristic of the postmodern movement which celebrates the meaninglessness of life and of the world.


Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem. New York: Penguin…

Sources Used in Documents:


Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem. New York: Penguin Books, 1976.

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