Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (Dialogue) by Eric J. Sterling

By Eric J. Sterling

Arthur Miller's loss of life of a salesperson, the 3rd quantity within the discussion sequence, covers six significant and debatable issues facing Miller's vintage play. the themes contain feminism and the function of ladies within the drama, the yankee Dream, enterprise and capitalism, the importance of know-how, the legacy that Willy leaves to Biff, and Miller's use of symbolism. The authors of the essays contain well-liked Arthur Miller students akin to Terry Otten and the past due Steven Centola in addition to younger, rising students. many of the essays, rather those written by way of the rising students, are inclined to hire literary idea whereas those by means of the proven students are inclined to illustrate the strengths of conventional feedback via analyzing the textual content heavily. it's attention-grabbing to determine how students at diversified levels in their educational careers technique a given subject from precise views and infrequently various methodologies. The essays provide insightful and provocative readings of loss of life of a salesperson in a suite that would turn out really precious to students and scholars of Miller's most famed play.

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Even granting that she is essentially unconscious of her own participation and complicity in the tragic movement of the play, she cannot be declared free of responsibility any more than any other Miller character. True, 16 Terry Otten like other Miller female characters, she bears the consequences for a dominant male’s stubborn moral blindness or a debilitating capitalism. One thinks of Kate Keller, Elizabeth Proctor, Beatrice Carbone, Esther Franz, Quentin’s wives, Theo and Leah Felt, Patricia Hamilton, and Sylvia Gellburg.

Free . ” (12, 139). She offers a benediction, however ironic, for she is indeed freed at last from Willy’s spurious, destructive dream. Christopher Bigsby comments on the image of Elizabeth Franz as Linda outstretched on Willy’s grave in the Requiem, “like a nun prostrating herself before a mystery, and the truth is that, for all her everyday common sense, life does remain a mystery to her” (Arthur Miller: A Critical Study 113). Yet even granting that she is “before a mystery” (she repeats the phrase “I can’t understand” four times in the last three pages of the text), she gives us the transcendent wisdom of the play.

But as I noticed the caption underneath the photograph, it immediately became clear that my first impression—that here was some weird, incongruous juxtaposition—was completely inaccurate. The young black rapper and the elderly white playwright, on that particular evening, actually had a great deal in common. They had participated in an anti-war protest at a poetry reading at the Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. The young black man and the elderly white man joined others—men and women, old and young, black and white, people from various cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds—and faced the cold winter weather and gathered together for a common cause: to protest the War with Iraq and the cancellation of a poetry reading at the White House prompted by First Lady Laura Bush’s fear that anti-war readings there would embarrass her husband at the time of his military incursion into Iraq.

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