It is an act of sacrifice by which Willy creates the premises for iff to potentially live the American Dream, unlike himself, who has not. The capacity to gives one's life for another man's dream is certainly grandiose, in a tragic manner, timeless and part of Willy's character.
There are certainly other themes that make from Miller's play a timeless one. One of them is the theme of the American Dream. Recurrent not only in the American literature starting with the 19th century, the theme is thoroughly met in every artistic work ranging from theatre to movies, to literature and painting. Additionally, this is a universal theme, already included in some of the European works as well, and most likely a timeless one, something that we are bound to see in the future as well.
It is difficult to describe the American Dream, however, I think one can argue that…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller or John Steinbeck or even Ernest Hemingway, and most likely he/she has heard the name, but cannot place it. Or, the response will be, "Isn't he a writer or something?" Ask someone in the field of literature the same question, and of course the response will be about the importance of this individual's works. That is one test of an author's impact. Now, ask that same typical person who is Edgar Allen Poe, and chances are he/she knows for sure it's a writer and will probably also know a poem or short story by Poe. That is another test of the author's impact: How much the average John or Jill Doe recalls. Meanwhile, people in the literary field may have mixed reactions, but will talk about the importance of Poe's works ad infinitum. The fascinating thing about Poe is that his works have stood the test of time…… [Read More]
American Dream; Now a Distant eality
This book was chosen not just because of the way that the story has been written by the author Arthur Miller but also because it revolves around the 'great American dream of success.' The way that the author has shown the downfall of a family and how the main character of the story holds onto his hopes of success to the extent of obsession seems very relatable in today's world. I have picked this story also because it is a very well written modern American tragedy and also because it shows the great American dream of success and how our current economic scenario is making it harder for the people to make this dream come true.
According to Frank Ardolino (2002) within this novel Miller has described the American Dream as well as how the characters in this novel try to achieve this dream.…… [Read More]
Dramatic Tension in the Crucible
One of the reasons that The Crucible is such a successful play is that the drama is established early. A consideration of the first 20 pages of the play will show that Arthur Miller creates dramatic tension in the first scene and establishes the themes, setting, and plots that will continue throughout the play.
The play opens the day after the girls were seen dancing in the forest. The first scene then partly deals with finding out what the girls were doing in the forest. This includes a range of people giving their thoughts or stating evidence related to what the girls were doing. This establishes one of the major themes of the play, which is how one is able to get to the truth. Reverend Parris is seen to be worried that the girls were engaging in witchcraft. This is partially backed up…… [Read More]
Intolerance to Difference: Social Realities and Norms in the Crucible, The Guest, And the Old Chief Mshlanga
Human societies have, throughout the years, established norms, values, and artifacts that are collectively agreed-upon by its members. The culture of a society can be both advantageous and disadvantageous to its people. Norms and values held important by members of a society can be advantageous in that it provides people with social structure and order. It is disadvantageous when members of the society become intolerant to individuals or groups that deviate or differ from the majority in the society. When cases like this happen, social conflicts and destabilization occur, leading to the marginalization and eventual displacement of some members from their society.
Intolerance to social deviation and differences are the main themes discussed in three works of literature. The Crucible by Arthur Miller, The Guest by Albert Camus, and The Old Chief Mshlanga…… [Read More]
Arthur's view of America
Arthur Miller was one of those few playwrights whose view of the U.S. was anything but optimistic or positive. Most of his plays take place in the heart of American industrial hubs so capitalism was always the most dominant theme. It is a place that belongs to an average American and that every American can relate to. Instead of using western end or eastern end of America, the conventional Midwest was used as the place of action. What he meant to say was that had he chosen New York or California as locations for the play, it could be seen as an exception but Midwest is a place for everyone and for the general folks and hence it appeals to everyone and Arthur Miller's plays sparked an intense debate on the meaning and existence of the great American Dream. American Dream signifies social mobility and…… [Read More]
However, using today's less rigid religious standards make the outcome of the trials seem ridiculous and completely unjust. Today, most people do not consider witchcraft a reality, and so, basing a court decision on the confession of bewitched young women seems almost ludicrous. As critic Bloom maintains, "Today's audience cannot take the possibility of witchcraft seriously; the implication for us is that no enlightened citizen of any age would be able to take it seriously" (Bloom 45). Thus, if the reader places himself or herself in the 17th century, the verdicts against the accused might make more sense, but they still indicate a lack of justice and reliance on the law.
The American people trust the courts for the most part, and trust them to make impartial and balanced decisions. Up until the decisions, most of the people of Salem trusted the courts as well. The judge follows the doctrines…… [Read More]
Misfits, written by Arthur Miller is the story of a fading beauty and ex-stripper who falls in love with the aging cowboy Gay Langland. Roslyn is a divorced woman and has become embittered in her relationships with men. She briefly finds happiness with Langland, but then rejects him when she discovers that part of his business of being a cowboy is rounding up wild horses and selling them for dog food. Eventually, she demands that the horses be set free. Although Langland refuses, his helper Pearce Howland, an injured rodeo cowboy, accedes to her demands.
Everyone "The Misfits" is damaged and a 'misfit' in some way, much like the horses. The horses are meant to symbolize the plight not just of Roslyn, who clearly identifies with them, but all of the men who are infatuated with her. Pearce has loses his livelihood because of an injury he sustains at a…… [Read More]
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is about a sad salesman, illy Loman has spent his entire adult life in sales, with little success, but always believing affirming that a man who is well-liked is always successful. There have been many film and television versions of Miller's play since its first performance in 1949. The 1966 version directed by Alex Segal and starring Lee J. Cobb has proven to be particularly interesting in the way it treats the specific themes of the story. Death of a Salesman has what would initially seem to be a spare plot; an aging man comes face-to-face with the reality of his existence and crumbles in the wake of his failures. The mental anguish of the main character is only one theme of the piece. hen looked at more deeply, it becomes apparent that beneath the surface, there is a second…… [Read More]
In Act III of the play, Miller describes the vestry of the Salem Meeting House, lit only by candles, which makes it possible that such a vessel as an earthen lamp could be present in this room.
Lastly, the title could refer to a severe test or trial. For instance, when the girls are placed on trial before their Puritan elders, they experience much trauma and tribulation; also, the character of John Proctor is placed on trial which tests his moral convictions and principles as a dedicated and devout Puritan. In addition, many other characters in the play experience trials of one kind or another, such as being tested by the circumstances surrounding the practicing of witchcraft by the young girls or by simply being a member of the larger Puritan community.
In conclusion, whether the title of Miller's play refers to any of these objects or vessels is not…… [Read More]
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Specifically it will compare and contrast the character of Willy Loman, the main character in the play. Willy is a salesman who is getting older and losing the advantage he had in his business. On one side, Willy is a volunteer, because he brings his problems on himself. On the other side, Willy is a victim of society; his problems are not his fault.
Willy brings on his problems himself with his behavior, his failure to face reality, and his stubborn attitude. For example, he admires Ben his brother, and Howard, the uncaring business owner, because he thinks they are successful. However, Miller portrays them as rude, ruthless, and uncaring, and Willy is unable to see that their behavior is wrong. Ben, his rich brother, could have helped the family, but he ignored them. In a dream sequence, he tells Willy, "With one…… [Read More]
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Specifically it will contain an analysis of the play that answers several questions. Miller's work is a classic play that has run for years on Broadway and around the world. It tells the story of a traveling salesman who has passed his usefulness to his family and himself. It is a tragic story of the American dream gone terribly wrong.
The setting of the play is New York City, mostly inside the Loman's small home. The play does shift to a few other settings, such as the offices Willy and his sons visit, and the restaurant where they have dinner. However, most of the play takes place in the small home Willy and his family has shared for decades.
The major characters of the play are Willy Loman, the "salesman," Linda his wife, and Hap and Biff, his two sons. There are also…… [Read More]
Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller. Specifically, it will address how Miller foreshadows Willy's suicide throughout the play, and how this foreshadowing creates tension. Willy's death comes as no surprise at the end of the play, for he has been doomed since the opening curtain. He is a man whose time is past, and Miller makes this clear with his foreshadowing and depiction of Willy as old, and past his professional prime.
Death of a Salesman" has become a classic drama, made into several movies, and still performed around the country. It is the tragic story of Willy Loman and his family, a group of people who love each other, but do not know how to show that love, or communicate about it. From the very title, it is clear Willy is doomed to die in this drama, for there is nothing else for him to do.…… [Read More]
"(Miller, 96) However, even if it can appear that illy's death is a further failure and humiliation, Happy points out at his funeral that Loman had the braveness to pursue his dream to the end, despite the fact that he did not succeed: "I'm gonna show you and everybody else that illy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. it's the only dream you can have - to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I'm gonna win it for him."(Miller, 111) the promise that Happy makes to follow his father's dream and accomplish it for him is again ironic however. Miller points thus to the perpetuation of the American Dream in society, and hints at its probable permanence.
Thus, Miller's play is one of the most 'American' productions as it points to the conflictive relationship established between the American…… [Read More]
Willy suffers from the consequences of the internal and external conflicts in his life. One of the antagonists in this story is the false promise of the American Dream, not another person per se. Willy is unable to become rich and show his family his own worth through material possessions, despite his hard work and perseverance, which is a conflict to him because he believed that would happen. He believes that the company he has been employed by for decades will promote him, but instead he is fired. He has worked hard and struggled to provide for his family, yet his sons reject him. Willy learns that the truths he has believed in life are actually false promises. These conflicts are all caused by the antagonist of the play, and losing his job and income and therefore perceiving himself to have let everyone, including himself, down are his external conflicts.…… [Read More]
The truth is simply too difficult to accept, so he turns a blind eye to it. For illy, denial is easier than reinventing a new life. He believes that somehow, he will get an advance and "come home with a New York job" (Miller II.1070-1). He believes he can still get a promotion and never have to "get behind another wheel" (II.1071) again. These beliefs, while they are positive, are not productive for illy at this point if his life. He is old and his chances for great success are dwindling. He believes even if he is not the best salesman in the world, he certainly is not the worst and this level of mediocrity has satisfied him for far too long.
One of the saddest facts about illy's personality is the fact that he passes on his negative characteristics to Biff. illy instills his dreamy nature in Biff, which…… [Read More]
He was labeled for a belief that he did not openly admitted subsisting to; he was labeled based on the fact that he refused to testify against an ideology.
It is not surprising, then, that the primary message of "The Crucible" resonated his thoughts and feelings about the McCarthy administration's containment policy against Communism. The arguments he presented in the play showed how Miller viewed the government's offensive action against Communism not only futile, but reflection of how American society was slowly developing into: "...for good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combination of state and religious power whose function was...to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by...ideological enemies."
This passage aptly described the American society's condition under the paranoid and highly-offensive McCarthy administration. Like John Proctor in his play, Miller refused to say anything against an ideology that,…… [Read More]
American Dream" in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" with References to Mark Twain and Henry Thoreau
Arthur Miller's play entitled "Death of a Salesman" is a story about a man who has created a conflict with his family because of his great belief in the American Dream. Willy Loman, the main character in the story, makes a living by being a salesman, and the story revolves around his frustrations in life, particularly the strain in his relationship with his eldest son, iff Loman. Willy's frustrations stems from the fact that iff was not able to have a permanent and stable job, and is often fired from work because of some petty offense or misconduct on his son's part. Willy always insist that his son iff must develop relations with other people, and he must also have charisma and the ability to interact with them in order to achieve prosperity…… [Read More]
Miller and Eliot on Beauty
Comparing and Contrasting "Beauty" in Miller and Eliot
Arthur Miller and T.S. Eliot are two 20th century American playwrights. hile the latter is more commonly noted for expatriating to Britain and writing some of the most memorable poetry of the early 20th century, the former is noted for his famous depiction of the common man's struggle to find meaning and fulfillment in Death of a Salesman. As distinct as the two writers may seem, they both conceive of and treat the theme of beauty -- Miller analyzing its absence in Salesman, and Eliot analyzing its abandonment in several poems like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The asteland." This paper will compare and contrast both writers and show how they deal with the theme of beauty in their works.
The Absence of Beauty in Salesman and "Prufrock"
Beauty is missing from illy Loman's…… [Read More]
Biff deliberately gives up all chances of graduating from high school, and leaves his college dreams behind.
For a long time, Biff feels some anxiety about his chosen lifestyle out est. He enjoys the freedom of his rootless life, but feels somewhat guilty that he has given up so much, after so much was expected of the early promise he showed. His cousin Bernard, less athletic but more studious, has distinguished himself as a lawyer. His Uncle Ben, illy's idol, found diamonds while wandering in the wilderness, while Biff has only, in his view, wasted his time doing very little, and making very little money.
hen he comes back to see his parents, Biff contemplates going into business with his unethical brother Happy, who is very much like a younger version of illy. But after a certain point, Biff realizes that this would simply be, in his words, "trying to…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller, notable playwright, wrote the 1953 play, The Crucible that focused on the partially fictionalized and dramatized story of the Salem witch trials that occurred between 1692 and 1693 in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The play was written as an allegory of McCarthyism due to the American government blacklisting of accused communists. Even Miller was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on what can be labeled as "Un-American Activities" during the late 1950's and was convicted in 1956 of contempt of Congress for the refusal of identification of others that were present during the meetings Miller had attended. Miller's drama was then translated into his play through themes of intolerance, hysteria, and reputation.
The first theme that The Crucible describes in the beginning of the play is intolerance. ith the play's setting in a theocratic society, where the church and state serve as one, the government uses…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller penned the play The Crucible in the context of McCarthy-era rhetoric and anti-communist propaganda in the United States. Although it has a literal and direct historical reference and application to the Salem witch trials, the play serves as an overarching metaphor for public persecution and the dangers a police state poses to the general public. Through The Crucible, Miller critiques American society and indirectly accuses patriarchy of dismantling some of the core norms and values upon which the nation was built. Moreover, Miller deftly draws analogies between Salem's persecution of women during the witch-hunts and ashington's persecution of all Americans during the Cold ar. hereas women were the only real targets during the witch trials of the late 17th century, all Americans had fallen under the indiscriminate policies of political discrimination. Miller therefore presents patriarchy within a Marxist as well as a postmodernist framework. As a Marxist, Miller…… [Read More]
Throughout the play, Willy longs for the wealth, privilege, and equality the America was alleged to have been built upon until he can no longer deny that the promises of the American dream are just an illusion. While this is without a doubt a scathing critique of capitalism, at the same time, the play seems to be trying to show that nothing is truly real and once you remove all of the 'bells and whistles.' In other words, 'real' people, just like the American dream, are a myth. No one is immune to putting on a 'front' for other people, but when the opinions of others dictate your life and your decisions, this is when the human soul begins to deteriorate. Willy Loman is the characterization of this corrosion.
The death of the American Dream portrayed in the play, as well as the constant comparisons between the rich and the…… [Read More]
Crucible and hat I Have Learned
Arthur Miller's The Crucible is a dramatic, engaging work that challenges the reader/viewer to see beneath the "black and white" dichotomy by which the world is simplistically characterized via such "venerable" institutions in America as the "right" and the "left," the "conservative" and the "liberal" establishment, and the "patriot" and the "traitor" conception. In this play, Miller brings to the fore the fact that there can be and often are conflicting motives within every single human heart, a phenomenon that colors the way people act, interact, think, speak, and -- yes -- betray. At the heart of The Crucible is a drama of sexual tension and spite -- a girlish revenge twisted into something much more heinous by the cruel paroxysms of a community going mad with suspicion, condemnation, and holier-than-thou syndrome. It is a play that reflects one of the sinister secrets of…… [Read More]
Miller focuses a created, heterosexual alliance in his fictional retelling, but I, Tituba concentrates on the outcasts, which formed the actual, majority of the accused.
This alliance between marginal categories of persons is humorously underlined with Tituba meets a famous fictional outcast from Puritan society, Hester Prynne, while in jail. Conde creates a jailhouse meeting between the two women, since who knows what transpired while Tituba awaited her fate? Marginal women do not abandon Tituba, even though her Christian owner, the girls she helped, and her beloved John Indian abandon her to her execution. Hester Prynne helps Tituba say the right things to be released. Confession in Miller is shown as weakness and capitulation to the mad witch hunters, but Conde sees this as careful and clever planning, a just action because of the injustice of Tituba's captors. Finally, the alliance of 'others' is shown when Tituba, is freed from…… [Read More]
Whether this actually takes place is not the topic of this discussion, however. It is only important here in the sense that if it is taking place, it would fall into the discussion of whether it is right to use the power that these individuals have and keep that power instead of telling the truth, even if the truth may diminish the power that they previously enjoyed.
The most important Arthur Miller quote for this discussion, however, would be "...the strongest man in the world is the man who stands most alone." This quote is very important when looking at whether truth or power is more important, because it indicates that the man who tells the truth is the one that is often shunned and ignored, while the powerful people continue to use (and abuse) that power in order to stay ahead of others. It is unfortunate that individuals feel…… [Read More]
He continued to repeat the same behavior without at least trying to do something different. His dream probably kept him alive a little longer than he might have lived otherwise. As pathetic as his dream was, he owned it and believed he could reach it on some level. illy's tragic flaw begins with a delusion. He chooses to foster that delusion instead of moving in another direction. He takes the lazy way out of the situation because anything else would take him out of his comfort zone and he might actually develop into something successful. illy lies to himself and to those around him because that is easy as well. illy is a fictional character but he is far more real than many would like to admit. His humanity makes him worth studying because many people live in this kind of complacent, unfulfilled state. illy is his own obstacle and…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and the death of the American Dream:
The play "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller shows the falseness of the American dream, namely that by obtaining material security for one's self and one's family, one finds true happiness. illy, even during his lifetime expresses dismay he has worked a lifetime to pay for his house, only to not have his favored elder son live in it. He takes his life, feeling that he is better off dead, rather than living and working on commission, and his wife's final outcry at his grave that the family now owns the home and is free and clear seems hollow -- clearly she would rather have a living husband and debt, than a dead husband, an empty life, and a full bank account. Happy states to Linda, "he had no right to do that. There was no…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller's Play Death Of A Salesman (1949)
One of the central themes in the Author Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, is the concept of the American Dream. The concept of the American Dream has been one of the fundamental beliefs of the American community since the country's inception. The basic concept is fairly egalitarian in nature and states something to the effect that if an individual truly devotes themselves to improving themselves and their situation, then they will ultimately find prosperity through their hard work. This prosperity is possible because there are few truly limiting factors that can prevent someone from reaching their goals in the U.S. of lore and whatever obstacles that are present can be overcome through dedication and resourcefulness.
James Truslow Adams was among the first to explicitly refer to the American Dream in his book The Epic of America, which was written…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"
Perhaps no other play in American history has captured the essence of the nation's collective consciousness during a particular era than Arthur Miller's 1949 drama Death of a Salesman. Presented predominately from the perspective of aging salesman illy Loman, this contribution to dramatic literature is at once absurd and tragic, with Miller employing several distinct authorial styles to tell the story of an increasingly senile Loman, who wavers between states of lucidity and fantasy throughout the narrative. Several members of Loman's family play central roles in Death of a Salesman, including illy's loyal wife Linda, his failed sons Biff and Happy, and each character is an extension of the protagonist himself, representing the overall ordinary nature of his life despite delusions to the contrary (Koon 31). The reason that this play has come to encapsulate the prevailing American identity during the era in which…… [Read More]
Biff, by no means, was him a lazy bum, he had many different jobs before, but did not stay long at any of them, so he was not a dependent user who would wait for others to provide for him, he actually worked. The perception of Willy on Beff's job is evident when he speaks about Biff's recent job as a farm hand with disdain. He demeans the job without caring that it was a means where he would make an honest living. It indicates that no matter the job he would have picked for himself, Willy would not have supported him unless it was the one that brought the glory and reverence to the Lamon family name (Magil 1365-1368).
Thematic issues like father-son relationships that the author pursues in his writing: Biff and Will's relationship is not only representative of how fathers plan and map out their child's life,…… [Read More]
Pygmalion -- George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw -- one of the most well regarded playwrights -- wrote this comedy and first presented it to the public in 1912. He took some of the substance of the original Greek myth of Pygmalion and turned it into a popular play. In Greek mythology Pygmalion actually came to fall in love with one of his sculptures, and the sculpture suddenly became a living human. But in this play two older gentlemen, Professor Higgins (who is a scientist studying the art of phonetics) and Colonel Pickering (a linguist who specializes in Indian dialects) meet in the rain at the start of this play.
Higgins makes a bet with Pickering that because of his great understanding of phonetics, he will be able to take the Covent Garden flower girl -- who speaks "cockney" which is not considered very high brow in England -- and…… [Read More]
Willy knew if he accepts his wife support, he would have to move on and change for the better, which did not fit his idea of being happy because he could not live in the past.
From a counselor point-of-view, it seems that Willy's emotions affected his rational decisions because he did not want ton accept the changes that were occurring in his life. The chances that emotionality would affect rational decision-making are very high since people who blame others for their problems usually live by their emotions, which does not include rational thinking. Furthermore, at times like these, it would not hurt for the counselor to interject their values in the session so that rational decision-making can have a chance to calm the client. This is true even though there are times where the counselor should not share their values with the client especially when he or she is…… [Read More]
To make matters worse, he never even considers that he might not be as good as he thinks so he never seriously considers doing anything else. illy does not know when to cut his losses and let go. Charley gives us an accurate description of illy when he says, "For a salesman, there's no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake" (1113). Charley's words capture the dreamy illy. He understood illy's blind nature and though he tried to help him, he knew it was worthless.
illy is also an example of what not to do when pursuing the American Dream because he cannot accept responsibility for his life…… [Read More]
Critic Heyen says, "There is no question but that the play is elusive. As Miller himself has said, 'Death of a Salesman is a slippery play to categorize because nobody in it stops to make a speech objectively stating the great issues which I believe it embodies'" (Heyen 47). Therefore, many critics look at the play in different ways, attempting to categorize it and reference it according to their literary and dramatic experience. Heyen, on the other hand, tries to give his own personal reaction to the play, which is that Willy dies happy because he thinks what he is doing is right. He says, "Willy Loman, and this is his new and peculiar dimension, ends up dying happily, ecstatically, because he holds to the dream of meaning, holds to his sort of spiritual Franklinism" (Heyen 56). Willy dies happy, believing he is doing the right thing, and in the…… [Read More]
Sophocles writes, "Tiresias: That's your truth? Now hear mine: honor the curse your own mouth spoke. From this day on, don't speak to me or to your people here. You are the plague. You poison your own land" (Sophocles, 2004, p. 47). Each of these men has positive qualities, but their tragic flaw outweighs these qualities, and leads to pity and their downfall in the end. In addition, their tragic ends have tragic consequences on those around them, which is another element these two works have in common.
It is interesting to see the similarities in the plotting of these dramas as well. Essentially, they follow the tragic character from a turning point in their lives to the culmination of their problems and how they choose to face them. Their families and loved ones are left behind to sort out their lives without them, while they take the "easy" way…… [Read More]
Father and Son Relationships
Though written from very different perspectives, "Death of a Salesman" and the Namesake share a number of important similarities, particularly with regard to similar messages about fathers and sons. The conflicts and complexities of father/son relationships are explored by both Arthur Miller and Jhumpa Lahiri in their characters Willy, iff, and Happy Loman in "Death of a Salesman" and Ashoke and Gogol Ganguli in the Namesake. Yet, it is important to recognize that, while both iff and Gogol travel similar paths, and for similar reasons, their journeys take them down wildly divergent paths.
Unlike the characters in "Death of a Salesman," the characters in the Namesake must deal with issues of conflicting national and cultural identities. The clash of cultures is a recurrent theme throughout the Namesake, and drives much of the plot. For instance, while giving birth, Ashima reflects on the differences between engali and…… [Read More]
This skilled use of ironic prose is also observable in "A Jury of her Peers" by Susan Glaspell, as when the woman who has just committed murder tells the investigators: "after a minute...'I sleep sound.'" the tale depicts how a group of women gradually deduce, through small and simple clues, how Mrs. right killed her husband, and why. The women's observations are more astute than the male investigator's analysis, according to police protocols. The point of the story is not murder, but the fact that the murder's quiet wifely desperation has gone ignored for so long, and that only fellow female sufferers can see this sorrow after the fact. Likewise, the point of O'Connor's story, more than the lurid aspects, are the ways that families and human beings fail to connect and communicate with one another, before it is too late.
A naysayer might sniff and ask why use murder…… [Read More]
hat you do in life, good, bad, otherwise, comes back to haunt you. And the suicide of Robert X is an embodiment of that lesson.
In reading about this book, in preparation for this essay, I came across a conversation the author had with John Lowe concerning the tight narrative quality of the book, and I think in commenting about it, Gaines underscores one of the book's major themes:
P: There's nothing wasted in that book. It's totally honest and almost foreordained from the beginning, from the first page.
Gaines: A great man falls, and what he's going to do when he gets up. He feels that even God had failed him. He could not even please God any more (Lowe 184).
This theme, or question rather, of how does one deal with failure is an important one, on the individual level as well as on the group level. How…… [Read More]
He blames his father his personal failure because he, "blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody! That's whose fault it is!" (1108). illy's failure extends beyond the workplace and spills over into his family life. This should come as no surprise since the two are closely connected when we think of the American Dream.
illy does not want to change and this proves to be detrimental to his job, his life, and his family. At the age of 63, illy decides not to think about change or failure. It is easier to find excuses. For example, he tells Linda, "The trouble was that three of the stores were half-closed for inventory in Boston. Otherwise, I woulda broke records" (Miller 1046). He admits "people don't seem to take to me" (1047) and he is often overlooked and "not noticed" (1047) at work. He…… [Read More]
Part of the process of staging a play is to make the familiar unfamiliar, to isolate elements so as to suggest reality, the familiar, in an unfamiliar way. Plays do not take place in the real world but in a created world, a world set in one isolated spot (the stage) with several specific individuals isolated from real life (characters) interacting in a manner that conveys thematic issues and concerns to the audience. Such communication is controlled in a way that real life is not. Issues are isolated from the extraneous and conveyed in a way that has been shaped by the playwright for maximum impact. In the play Conduct of Life by Maria Irene Fornes, the familiar is made unfamiliar first in the setting, which is suggested as a set of four horizontal planes selectively illuminated and selectively populated as characters move from one area to another, evoking…… [Read More]
How explored prescribed text "The Crucible" Arthur Miller related text "oolvs in the Sitee" Anne Spudvilas?
Societal insiders and outsiders in Arthur Miller's The Crucible
In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the existence of outsiders in the tight-knit, homogeneous society of Salem, Massachusetts gives rise to a witch hunt that eventually results in the death of the protagonist John Proctor. Proctor is a plainspoken, honest farmer who refuses to condone the hysteria of the town, which he knows is at least partially stirred up by his former lover Abigail to enhance her social status and to separate him from his wife. Proctor also does not go to church on Sundays, out of guilt for his sin against Abigail. This makes him a pariah in a society where open professions of religion are required to be deemed 'normal.'
hile Proctor, a respected farmer, holds himself back from Salem society, Abigail…… [Read More]
In a fighting scene, we see how he is filled with an "intense hate" (111) and when he "was firing, when all those near him had ceased. He was so engrossed in his occupation that he was not aware of a lull" (111). After this incident, Henry throws himself down "like a man who had been thrashed" (111). Those around him saw him as "a war devil" (112).
Here we see how Henry has an animal instinct to fighting and it makes him look like a madman. Here we get an example of how we are aware of Henry's thoughts and feelings as well as what is going on around him. Crane also allows us to see the reactions of those around him to emphasize what it is that Henry is experiencing. By leaving the narrative to Henry's experiences alone, we are more apt to believe that it really happened…… [Read More]
Finally, there is a sense of release or uplifting at the end of the play. Linda's comment, "We're free" (Miller 1054) seems to encapsulate the family's struggles and inner turmoil. Willy has died in a blaze of glory, utterly convinced he is doing the right thing, and perhaps that has made his last moments happier than they have been in years. He will never know he failed again, and failed his family in the most permanent way. However, there was so much argument, turmoil, and strife in the family, perhaps removing himself was really the thing the family needed. There is a feeling, even though it may be implied, that the family will come together as a result of Willy's death, and that they will survive. There is also a feeling that the two sons will have some impetus to make something of themselves, even if it is because they…… [Read More]
The writer's intention was most probably to emphasize how certain behavior can lead to a terrible outcome. This is obvious through harley, considering that he too is a business man, but that his self-control assistes him in understanding the difference between right or wrong. Surely, it would be absurd to claim that harley is not interested in becoming more successful than he is. However, this does not mean that he is willing to risk everything he has in order to have that happen. The fact that harley was satisfied with his position whereas Willy considered his best friend's success to be nothing in comparison to Dave Singleman's illustrates what each of the characters wanted from life. Through giving J.P. Morgan as an example, harley actually demonstrates that one does not necessary has to be well-liked in order for the whole world to appreciate him.
harley is decent enough to let…… [Read More]
All along, Miller's salesman was creating a tableau vivant, in his work and in his family. If you put the right characters on stage, you create the right image.
In illy Loman's mind, Dave Singleman, that "single" salesman, no doubt created the proper image. Even Singleman's death was that of a salesman, "hen he died -- and by the way he died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers in the smoker of the New York, New Haven and Hartford, going into Boston -- when he died, hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his funeral." A traveling salesman should die on the road, as Dave Singleman obviously did. hat greater tribute to a way of life than to die in the course of one's duty? Appropriately, as well, Loman's hero received the adulation of his peers - the ultimate complement in the eyes of a man…… [Read More]
And this is perhaps the most important underlying notion of Miller's play. The American Dream, which can perhaps be seen as the principle at the heart of the work, is also the ambition which pushes Loman through his life of artifice and vain pursuit. In a flashback, illy is shown to be a man of aspiration, who wishes to transform his diligence and respect for authorities into a life of comfort and reputation. Even wishing eventually to start his own business, illy Loman is a startling figure insofar as his decline does not occur without a background of optimism and forward momentum. This is the crux of Miller's point though, that there is an illusory nature to the expectations of the American Dream. orking for somebody else's ideals and to line some other rich man's pockets his whole life, we find that illy has been exploited by the false promises…… [Read More]
Tragedy and the Common Man," he contemplates the idea that only the wealthy, noble characters can fully understand tragedy, and therefore appreciate it. That thought is not a reflection of his own opinion, as Miller argues the case of tragedy and the common, working class man - for tragedy knows no income boundaries, but rather that this person would "lay down his life...to secure one thing - his sense of personal dignity." To that end, Willy Loman epitomizes what Miller is speaking about.
Willy Loman is most certainly a tragic hero, according to the modern-day, Arthur Miller type definitions. Loman is hardworking and relentless in his pursuit of his American dream. His tragic flaw is that he cannot recognize how desperately his family wants to love him, yet Willy loves his family deeply enough to sacrifice self in order to give Biff the American dream that he could not obtain…… [Read More]
Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, and "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts" by Maxine Hong Kingston. Specifically, it will discuss conflict between generations and the "American Dream" in the two works. Both of these works clearly show the conflict between generations that often results from differing views of the "American Dream," the dream that is so elusive to so many of us.
Author Kingston's story is fact, rather than fiction, but the generational differences between her and her mother are still apparent. She remembers, "We'd have to face four- and five-day-old leftovers until we ate it all. The squid eye would keep appearing at breakfast and dinner until eaten. Sometimes brown masses sat on every dish. I have seen revulsion on the faces of visitors who've caught us at meals" Kingston 108). Her life is far different from her mother's, and she is firmly entrenched…… [Read More]
Flight to Canada/Death of a Salesman
Flight to Canada, written in 1976 by Ishmael Reed, is sort of an atypical slave narrative taking place in the antebellum south (however, this is an antebellum south where airplanes already exists and Lincoln's assassination is seen on television) and depicting Raven Quickskill's and his fellow fugitive's escape from their master Arthur Swille. The entire plot revolves around the relentless search for Raven who is on his way to "Camelot" (i.e, Canada) while his fellow fugitives, Stray Leechfield and 40's go to whatever lengths possible in order to find their own freedom. However, what Reed illustrates in the story is that one cannot so easily escape slavery because slavery exists everywhere and some forms are harder to escape than others, but some bring on slavery themselves. In Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, Willie Loman also believes in a sort of Camelot --…… [Read More]
Since the 30s people have been politically inclined towards left in Hollywood. Kazan was also known for his left-wing views that eventually led him to the appearance before HUAC. However, with the inquiries of the House Un-American Affairs Committee problems for the supporters of left came up. Demand for anticommunist films required more writers with right-wing inclinations. The demand for anti-fascist films in late 30s through mid-40s could not match the demand for anticommunist films. Even though many blacklisted liberals fled to other countries to support their careers. Many people expressed different views regarding people who supported HUAC. For example Lillian Hellman's view of Elia Kazan's friendly testimony is that he simply couldn't do otherwise because he valued his own
American success story too much. Arthur Miller also mentioned in his autobiography that if he did not come out clean he would not be able to make another movie in…… [Read More]
drama is tragic not only because of Willy Loman's suicide, but because he has left his family with nothing, and his sons with no hopes and abilities of their own.
Brief overview of the play
Argument for tragedy
Pro argument for tragedy
Con argument against tragedy
What the critics say
Death of a Salesman as Tragedy
This paper analyzes the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Specifically, it discusses the definition of tragedy by Aristotle, and research if it is correct to label the play as a tragedy.
Death of a Salesman is indeed a tragedy of epic proportions. The drama is tragic not only because of Willy Loman's suicide, but because he has left his family with nothing, and his sons with no hopes and abilities of their own.
Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman in 1948,…… [Read More]
Though he hated his father's beliefs and principles, iff inevitable became the victim of these misguided ideals, and like Willy, eventually became a failure.
iff was not able to achieve his desire to satisfy his father's expectations about him to be economically successful -- that is, to subsist also to his father's 'American dream' kind of life. iff's resentment to his father resulted to his current state of poverty, with no permanent job to provide him with financial support and immaturity in dealing with his problems in life. He also lacks self-confidence because of his father's constant criticisms about his life and lack of ambition, which made him indecisive and resigned in the kind of life that he leads: " ... I realized something about myself and I tried to explain it to you ... I think I'm just not smart enough to make sense out of it for you"…… [Read More]
structure of ancient and modern dramas to highlight their differences and similarities. The paper also shows how drama evolved over the centuries with references to Greek, Elizabethan and Modern plays.
MODEN AND ANCIENT DAMA: A COMPAISON
Drama has an inherent ability to adapt itself to the thinking and wishes of the society in which it takes birth. Therefore modern drama with all its intensity, relevance and eloquence is certainly more popular among modern audiences than its ancient counterpart. Still we cannot deny the importance of ancient dramatic concepts, models and devices in the development and evolution of modern drama. While ancient plays are mostly remembered for their grandeur and myths, close analysis reveals that there is more to them than meets the eye. All ancient Greek tragedies contain some similar elements, which set them apart from tragedies of later eras. While they basically concentrated on highlighting the significance of myths,…… [Read More]
Even when has the opportunity to make things better, he does not act. He refuses Charley's job offer because it seems easier to ask for money than it is to do something other than sell. He would rather see the family suffer than try to work at something else for a little while. After he is gone, she tells the kids, "First time in thirty-five years we were just about free and clear" (Requiem 1112). This statement illustrates just how disconnected to two were. She knew enough to know that they were almost at a place where they could stop and breathe but illy does not see things that way. He does not look at retirement as a way of beginning something refreshing with Linda. He fails her because he is not the strong, dependable man she deserves.
illy also fails his children. hile he does not beat his children…… [Read More]
learn how the law works by memorizing a set of rules or theorems. A misconception lies in the commonly asked question, "What is the law?" -- since it presupposes that it's all laid out somewhere on great stone tablets. The truth is that the answer often is, "It depends." As you'll soon discover the legal system basically is a method of applying abstract rules or social policy to concrete situations. To comprehend its workings, you have to get involved in the process -- it's a little like learning to swim in that you've got to jump in and splash around a bit. It's not an unpleasant sensation, but it may seem little strange until you get used to it and learn to keep your head above water. You'll discover it's a bit like peeling an onion in that as you strip away one layer of complexity you find another one…… [Read More]
He realizes that he has no direction and instead of facing it and doing something about it, he lashes out at his father. Fred Ribkoff asserts that Biff inherited a "sense of inadequacy and inferiority" (Ribkoff" and a "sense of shame" (Ribkoff) from his father. Domina suggests that Biff is the "clearest failure" (Domina) of the Loman clan, "unable as an adult to succeed or even persevere at any professional challenge" (Domina). Because illy never took the tie to prepare Biff for the real world, Biff emerged from high school unprepared and ill-equipped.
Biff Loman becomes what every parent should avoid creating in a child. illy enables Biff to be so many things but none of these things actually builds his character and causes him to be a productive member of society. Instead, he is a fledgling with no hope of ever achieving anything. This is not to say that…… [Read More]
Miller's play is very similar with respect to its main theme. Joe Keller also makes an economical decision at one point in his life: being in charge of the military equipment of the Air Force planes during the Second orld ar he provides the army with 121 defective cracked cylinder heads. As a result, twenty one of the planes crash and all the pilots die. Thus, faithful to the American Dream of prosperity and wary of his family's finances, Joe knowingly ignores the possible consequences of his act. Years after this tragedy, Joe is still in denial, refusing to acknowledge any personal responsibility or guilt. Thus, the structure of the play is almost identical with that of the short story previously discussed. Joe refuses to take responsibility in two situations, not just one: first for the pilots, and then for the death of his own son, Larry who commits suicide…… [Read More]
This type of certainty only signifies authority, but it shows Danforth to be truly powerless over his convictions or any sort of lasting truth. Like Proctor, he is also described upon his first appearance, with Miller commenting that he was of "some humor and sophistication that does not, however, interfere with an exact loyalty to his position and his cause" (Miller 73). Though Danforth has authority over life and death in Salem, he has no real power because he has already completely given himself over to his position as a Judge and his cause of seeking out witches. When the truth and all things eternal cease to matter, all power is gone, and though John Proctor and many others meet death essentially at Danforth's hands, they retain power over themselves in their refusal to give in to Danforth's authority.
Nowhere is the difference between power and authority made more clear…… [Read More]
As a king in ancient Greek literature, Oedipus was required to have a dramatically catastrophic fall, while modern literature needs a tragic hero who is an "everyman." But both suffered greatly in their own ways, and in ways that the audience both expected and regarded as essential. But while these two characters were both the central, tragic figure in their respective stories, their differences were a reflection of the role of dramatic tragedy in their societies.
The subject of ancient Greek literature was often the magnificent deeds of the gods and heroes, while everyday life was more often forgotten. As a result, the tragedies presented often had as their main character a great person, sometimes with a major personality flaw, who suffers extreme torments and a mighty plunge from an exalted position. Nothing exemplified this excessive amount of suffering than Oedipus, a man who became a king only to later…… [Read More]