Death Of A Salesman is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1949. Death Of A Salesman has been in Broadway for a performance run in 1999, and also was in a movie released in 1951 which stars Fredric March as the main character Willie Loman. Death Of A Salesman is about a man named Willie who believes he is going to have a great future but in reality he has not done very much with his life. Death Of A Salesman caused a big stir when it was first released because of the connection to America at that time period.
Arthur Miller was born in New York on October 17, 1915 and died August 10, 2005. Arthur Miller was known for writing Death Of A Salesman which is now considered an American classic play. He also wrote many other forms of literature including essays, short stories, novels, and even wrote the screenplay for one movie called The Misfits (1961). His Death Of A Salesman won this 1949 Pulitzer Prize for drama along with critical acclaim at the time of its release. Death Of A Salesman made Arthur Miller one of the most well known authors of the 20th century.
Willie Loman is central character in Death Of A Salesman, he is a man who lives in New York with his wife Linda and his sons Biff and Happy. Willie Loman has worked as a salesman for 35-40 years but has never made enough money to be considered successful by society’s standards. His two sons have grown up with him never realizing that their dad is not very good at being a salesman, they blame themselves for their dad being unsuccessful which causes them to be filled with guilt every time they are around him because they see him as this broken individual trying to hold onto anything he can get his hands on.
Death Of A Salesman is based outside of Boston in Massachusetts, and Willie Loman’s boys Biff and Happy visit him for the summer. Death Of A Salesman really shows how much of an illusion this character creates in his mind to make himself feel better about life, but in reality he is full of guilt and has not achieved any success. Death Of A Salesman goes through many stages throughout the book before it finally culminates into tragedy when one of his sons commits suicide because he cannot deal with all the failures that have happened in his life.
Death Of A Salesman was written by Arthur Miller who won a Pulitzer Prize for drama for this play back in 1949, some say Death Of A Salesman even helped Miller win this award because it had to America at the time. Death Of A Salesman has been made into a movie of the same name that was released in 1951. Death Of A Salesman won Arthur Miller an award for this play, it also won him many awards through out his life and Death Of A Salesman is considered one of the best plays written by Arthur Miller because of his works like Death Of A Salesman and others he wrote later on. Death Of A Salesman has become a huge part of American literature which is why we study Death Of A Salesman to learn about the time period as well as what America was like at this time as well as what people were thinking.
He also believes that his son, Biff, is still not an adult and can help him to achieve all of Willy’s unfulfilled dreams. This majorly contributed to the downfall of Willy because he was so bound by this illusory thinking.
Reality played a key role throughout Death Of A Salesman. When realism hit home upon reading Bernard Malamud’s, The Magic Barrel, it showed reality in its true light to Biff. He realized how much time had passed by trying to be someone he truly wasn’t – a great baseball player. Reality then came into play when his father found out that Biff was not living up to the expectations set forth by himself only.
Then reality struck again when Willy attempted to reconcile with his sons, Biff and Happy to have a better relationship. This attempt ultimately failed because it was too late for Willy to change now that he has already consumed the illusion of success. Death Of A Salesman shows that illusions are not always easy to escape from, but reality is much simpler.
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman presents 2 different worlds- illusion and reality. Two characters which represent these two worlds are Willy Loman and his son, Charley. Willy lives in an illusion world where he does not come to realize that his life is the exact opposite from the American Dream. The first thing that defines illusion is Willy Loman’s idea that he has to achieve the American dream. For him, it means getting rich, living a long time with your family, and being successful all around at everything you do.
However by the end of Death of a Salesman , we see how this lifestyle causes Willy an emotional and mental breakdown. For example: Willy is uneducated and lacks significant business experience to be a success in the business world, but he still tells people that he is an “expert salesman”. Another irrefutable reason why Death of a Salesman represents illusion is his constant lying about how successful he is in achieving the American Dream.
When asked what he does for a living, Willy tells people that has own business and makes $60,000; however when talking to his family and friends in reality he works as a down-on-his luck salesman who only brings in $300 per month. Charley Loman also lives in a world based on illusion, but it is a perfect contrast from Willy’s. Charley is a successful businessman and has all the necessities of the American dream- a house, car, money in his pocket, and even happiness with his wife. The difference between him and Willy Loman (besides the fact that they are father-son).
The opposite side of illusion would be reality. Death of a Salesman shows us how important it is to distinguish between what is real or not; primarily through the lives of Willy Loman (immediately after WWII), his wife Linda, and son Biff. To Willy, illusions are more important than reality. He spends his life trying to live in an illusion and almost never lets reality seep in. Death of a Salesman illustrates how Willy Loman’s life is the absolute opposite from what he wanted it to be and expected it to be (the American Dream).
When Linda tells him that she wants him dead because she cannot bear living with him anymore, his response is “I’m the laughing stock of this town. ” This shows us that even though he works as a salesman for a living, Willy still has the mindset that he deserves much more recognition and success than he actually gets. Death of a Salesman is one of the greatest plays in American history because it illustrates how an illusion isn’t always better. When your life is based on something that doesn’t actually exist (even though you think that it does) then this leads to nothing but heartbreak and misery.