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Death of A Salesman

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Introduction

'Death of a salesman' coursework Introduction In 'In death of a salesman' we see an optimistic salesman, Willy Loman, in the last 48 hours of his life. The play has frequent flashbacks to Willy's past that are representative of how Willy is having a nervous breakdown and later commits suicide. We see Willy as a broken man under the cutthroat capitalist system he has so loyally served and supported all his working live trying to make the best for his family and trying unsuccessfully to become a successful salesman. Arthur Miller, the author, wants to show Willy as another victim of capitalism and makes us sympathise at how Willy and the people around him act. He shows us a man disillusioned by the world around him and confused by his sons who he wants to follow the same career as him. His sons, Biff and Happy are also unsuccessful or just not motivated. Biff wants to get out the city and live a laid back lifestyle where Happy tries in vain to be like his father but can not face the fact that he is also unsuccessful. Another aspect of the play is that Miller comments on the fake American Dream and measures of social status are made by the commodities or job that one has. ...read more.

Middle

Music In 'death of a salesman' music is used to a dramatic effect and the main characters, such as Ben and Willy, have their own pieces of music/ This may be to affect the audience and to make the characters entry seem more dramatic/ At the start of the play 'a melody is heard, played upon a flute, It is small and mine, telling of grass and trees and the horizon.' This is an optimistic piece of music, relative to the rest of the play and is used to give us hopes and dreams for the rest of the play. This music is dramatic and is played upon one flute, it is simplistic and powerful. At the end of the play, just before the requiem, the music rises to a frenzy as Willy drives off and as he dies, the music is used to a dramatic effect as the music turns to 'the soft pulsation of a cell o string'. This is striking to the audience and has a great emotional impact upon them. Another quality of the Melody is that it feels out of place in a city scene, which is the appearance of the set. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the play progresses, the flashbacks become more frequent and crossover more into the present. The flashbacks are essential to the rest of the play and provide vital points that are key to the story. As the flashbacks become more frequent and frenzied, Willy starts acting out the flashbacks in the present. This makes him appear crazy and even leads Biff and Happy to openly claim Willy is not their father. Miller uses these flashbacks to adequately convey the emotion and structure of Willy's breakdown to the audience. Conclusion 'Death of a salesman' could easily be interpreted as an attack on the unscrupulous nature of all capitalism, but this is only a small part of the play. It is an emotive story of the last few days of a failed salesman's life, as he seeks happiness in the past and can not face the reality of his life. It is about a man who has been robbed by time and takes refuge in the past when he was well liked, yet in the present no-one in the business world likes him. Miller has written 'Death of a salesman' in a powerful way and is successful in his purpose of touching the reader and making the read thinking about the world and the life they lead. ...read more.

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