How is Death of a Salesman a commentary upon American society and values. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is a commentary upon society in relation to the painful conflicts of a working class family in New York, who throughout their life has struggled to make a decent living and fulfill the American dream.
The play illustrates its critical commentary on American society through Willis obsession with the Dream, depiction of women and the disrespect towards the “elderly. ” The main theme in Death of a salesman is without a doubt the American dream.
This dream has been the basis of Willis life, and he has a fundamental belief in it, that almost reach religious proportions. He has passed this trust in the American dream onto his two sons, which has a dramatic consequences for them both. Wily Loan’s longing to achieve his ideal dream in turn, controlled his life and ruined his family. The character Wily portrays a large piece Of society.
This being illustrated through the protagonist stating “America is full of beautiful towns and fine, upstanding people.. The finest people.
The repetition of ‘finest” emphasizes the utter utilization of Wily s depiction of Americans. Will’s characterization of the American people as kind to anyone who is personally attractive demonstrates his utter faith in his twisted version of the American Dream. The quote emphasizes the commentary of the critical portrayal of society of those who base their lives on acquiring money, this being Will’s ideal. With society’s greed for success it has consumed a large number of people. It’s evident in the way Wily acts that his want of money consumes IM.
This constantly happens in our society; people will do anything to become rich even if it means putting other down. Therefore we see the commentary upon of Americans values through the protagonist of the play. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, women are depicted as secondary to men being shown through their variety of functions and roles. This being mainly evident through Will)/s wife Linda. It is evident within the play that she as well as every other female character in the play is dependent on men.
The omen in Death of a Salesman are secondary to men; specifically, they exist primarily for the male Loans’ character development. Linda, specifically, is a panacea for Wily being evident when she tells him he is the “handsomest man in the world. ” She sheds a positive light on his accomplishments; when he complains about having an empty, run-down house; Linda consoles him, telling him that paying off the house is “an accomplishment. ” The play sheds light on the disrespect men have for women as being evident through Will)des attitude toward Linda; “Shut up and let me speak… Id shut up!. “The repetition and the negative connation’s of “shut up” represent the disrespect towards his wife and highlights her being insignificant. The fact that Wily has a mistress highlights the disrespect and immorality that there are plenty of women around , one isn’t good enough for me. Hence reinforcing the thesis of women being secondary to men and that the women exist primarily for the Loans’ character development. Death of a Salesman also reflects how society treats people once they have become considered as “elderly”‘.
Wily assisted and helped Biff and Happy when they were completely dependent and lost, but the boys aren’t willing to help Wily out when he needs them. This is more effective when looked at as if Wily represents all the older people in our society. It shows how the elderly are looked down upon, are thought to be crazy, and have their jobs taken away for no reason other than age. Teatimes you feel sorry for Wily since these things are happening to him and he is powerless against them.
This makes the reader stop to examine our own culture and the ways we criminate against people who should be our equals and treated with respect. This is shown through the argument between Howard and Wily; with Howard dismissing him as “kid”. The negative implications and disrespect of Howard degrading a man double his age. This can also been seen through Happy utter embarrassment and shame towards his father “no, that’s not my father.. He’s just a guy. ” The repetition of the consonant “n” highlights the significance and intent of the utter disconnection of a son being proud of his father.
Happy is embarrassed of his father since he losing his mind and doesn’t want to be associated with him. Highlighting the commentary on society utter disrespect for the “elderly. ” Death of a Salesman highlights societies faults by effectively exposing it through the Loans and societies conflicts. Hence forcing you to evaluate the morals and values of this culture. This was seen through the American dream, depiction of women and the disrespect towards the “elderly. ” The play is vivid and horrifying depiction of society but a truthful reflection of American society.
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