When it premiered, Death of a Salesman received immediate critical praise and popular attention.
Arthur Miller is a distinctive dramatist in his own right, with extensive uses of dramatic elements in his plays, such as sound, particular attention to stage settings, and his dialogues.
Critics have noted the impact of his relatively simple use of language for his dialogues, with no grandiose wordplay whatsoever- in its simplicity lies Death of a salesman critical insights essay beauty. Another aspect of his plays is the profound use of surreal elements, which form a beautiful symbiotic relationship with the realistic parts of the play, as if holding some semblance of delicate balance, on the verge of dangerously tipping.
There are quite a few analytical aspects to this piece of work, and the one this paper will explore, is the grand debate on its central character. Various critics have remarked on the fragile nature of Willy Loman primarily believed to be the protagonist of the play by many and given evidence and personal opinions as to why he may not be the central character after all.
Willy Loman is a salesman, a middle class salesman in the drama, and the play revolves around him as he tries to justify and make sense of his existence to the cruel and unappreciative society.
He does that through various devices- mainly through his sons, and through the surreal appearance of Ben, his dead, successful the American dream definition of it brother.
Linda is another character which makes an impact in her own right- the quiet force, the glue that holds the family together, the wife of Willy Loman.
Happy, the elder son is generally excluded from this debate as his character does not really influence any action- it is him, rather, who gets influenced by the judgments and whims of other characters. This paper will attempt to deconstruct some of the aspects of these characters, and try and provide evidence for justifying who the central character is, and hopefully arrive at a concrete conclusion.
Firstly, the character of Willy Loman will be under scrutiny. Naturally, many have deviated from that character profile. Willy Loman is quite the sore thumb in this line of thought.
His character thoroughly lacks all the hallmarks of any sort of elevated position. But in this anomaly of his lies his greatness- his ambitions, his dreams. His inability to fulfill those dreams is sadly, his tragic flaw, and ultimately, his desire to manifest those dreams around him results in his downfall.
By contrast, a protagonist who cannot be alone, who cannot summon the intelligence and strength to scrutinize his condition and come to some understanding of it-whatever agony it may cost him-seems disqualified for the tragic stature literature can bestow.
This is perhaps what makes Loman such a feasible protagonist, and such an appealing one as far as literary appreciation is concerned.
Loman is the force that moves the events in the play, the one that is responsible for its volatility. He drags the entire family into the quagmire of his decisions, and attempts to influence their lives to attain satisfaction, as he seems resigned to his fate. His anger bursts, however, are shown to be quite hollow when he interacts with people outside the sphere of his house, displaying further disconnection to society.
For by entering the dark, unknown "jungle" of death Loman might bring out tangible wealth, "like diamonds," thus becoming as much an adventurer as Ben but within the skyscraper world of New York.
He imagines himself then having a funeral as massive as Singleman's, one that would leave Biff "thunderstruck. Biff knows that all these momentary achievements are extremely fickle in nature, and wants his father to realize that.
The light of their room begins to fade. BIFF to himself in bed: Willy Loman does the same for his favorite son, often seen fondly speaking about him and praising him for the smallest things.
This very nature of his tends to bring out the agitated nature of his father, often leading to sudden conflicts.
This analysis leads to one realization- Biff is more than suitable for the candidate of the protagonist. Like a young god.
Hercules — something like that. And the sun, the sun all around him. Remember how he waved to me? Right up from the field, with the representatives of three colleges standing by?
And the buyers I brought, and the cheers when he came out — Loman, Loman, Loman! A star like that, magnificent, can never really fade away! Willy, in his own narrow perspective, very much aspires to reach and taste that sweet scent of success Biff had on the event of that football match.
This does shake his pedestal as the protagonist a bit, leading to further debate. Quote number  talks about one of the goals Loman hopes to achieve after death- to regain his unity with Biff.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
Critical Insights: Death of a Salesman Table of Contents DEATH OF A SALESMAN, by Arthur Miller About This Volume, by Brenda Murphy The Play and Author On Death of a Salesman, by Brenda Murphy Biography of Arthur Miller, by Carl Rollyson The Paris Review Perspective, by Elizabeth Gumport Critical Contexts.
Get this from a library! Critical Insights: Death of a Salesman.. [Brenda Murphy.;] -- Essays present a variety of critical viewpoints and an array of critical approaches. Close readings include a consideration of the play in the context of literary naturalism and monetary theory as.
Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man's inability to accept change within himself and society. The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life.
In Death of a Salesman, the extended metaphors of sports and trees convey Willy Loman’s struggle to achieve the American Dream.
In The Crucible, the poetic language illustrates the conflicts that polarize the Salem community as a series of opposing images–heat and cold, white and black, light and dark, soft and hard–signify the . Background.
First published in (special Targ edition published ), The Tokyo-Montana Express, was Brautigan's ninth published novel. Dedication. For Richard and Nancy Hodge The Hodges were friends of Brautigan's in San Francisco.