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Analyse the dramatic effectiveness of the opening to ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller.

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Antonio Masih 20th Century Drama Coursework: Analyse the dramatic effectiveness of the opening to 'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller. In this essay I will be analysing the dramatic effectiveness of the opening to 'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller. Before this can be done a brief summary of the play is necessary. 'Death of a Salesman' is about fantasy versus reality, which eventually brings about Willy's downfall. Willy as a character has too much pride in himself and lives a lie, unlike his brother Ben who is completely ruthless. Both brothers chase the 'American Dream' and Ben achieves it, because of his character described as ruthless. I will first of all begin by analysing the characters. The main character is Willy Loman. He is a tragic hero, who ends up on a path that leads to his own destruction. ...read more.


The tension is a shared secret between Willy and Biff about the affair. Willy's major downfall is his dwelling on the past too much. This is shown by what he say's and his demeanour. 'I was driving along, you understand? And I was fine. I was even observing the scenery the. You can imagine, me looking at the scenery, on the road every week of my life...' At this section of his speech Willy is fine and observing nature. 'But it's so beautiful up there, Linda the trees are so thick, and the sun is warm. I opened the windshield and just let the warm air bathe over me.' At this stage Willy is totally relaxed and unwounded. 'And then all of a sudden I'm going off the road! I'm tellin' ya, I absolutely forgot I was driving'. ...read more.


'Solid vault of apartment houses'. This is symbolically intimidating and a claustrophobic image. The intimidating buildings are symbolically related to the new world of business and technology. It is rapidly becoming an alien world to an old-fashioned man like Willy. 'Fragile-seeming home'. This is symbolic and reflects the Loman family. This reflects the family for the reason that the family to can fracture like the house. This is due tight financial problems, which is exposed when Willy says 'After all the highways, and the trains, and the years you end up worth more dead than alive.' This shows how Willy defines his financial state. 'Whenever the action is in the present the actors observe the imaginary wall-lines well and all rules of nature are being experiential. When Willy daydreams, characters do not observe the wall-lines and saunter through the walls. This is symbolically like the past being reminiscent of ghosts. The rules of nature are not being observed. Consequently Willy's constant daydreaming and dwelling on the past, is unnatural. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. ...read more.

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