A study of Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman as a modern tragedy - Research Paper Example

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A study of Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman as a modern tragedy

In Death of a Salesman, Miller brings about social and existential questioning through the unlikely motif of commerce. The profession of a salesman is one that is intrinsically connected to a consumerist economy. If one bears in mind that the play was written only a few decades after the Great Depression in 1949, it would perhaps be apt to equate Willy’s professional failure with the play’s implicit criticism of America’s relentless pursuit of material prosperity. However, the most important aspect of Willy’s profession is the suggestion that lingers throughout the play – that Willy barters not merely goods but also his soul. In the essay “Success, Law, and the Law of Success: Re-evaluating Death of a Salesman’s Treatment of the American Dream,” Galia Benziman writes, “Through the representation of this salesman’s emotional collapse, the drama voices the playwright's resentment against the damaging and demeaning power of the American ethos of consumption and private economic success on the individuals who uphold and nourish it”. Therefore, in his ceaseless and futile pursuit for success and happiness, Willy Loman loses more than his job; he also loses his individuality and his integrity, and herein lies the play’s depiction of the tragic. ...Show more

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This paper shall attempt to understand the tragic underpinnings of Miller’s play and the subsequent social commentary that the play makes through the character of Willy Loman…
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A study of Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman as a modern tragedy essay example
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