Death of a Salesman. Arthur Miller American Drama. Modern American Drama Historical Background. Great Depression (1930s to middle 1940s) Fall in stock prices , stock market crash American Dream
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“wereweepingbecausethecentralmatrix of theplay is.. whatmostpeopleareupagainst in theirlives.. Theywereseeingthemselves, not becauseWilly is a salesman but thesituation in which he stoodandtowhich he wasreactingagainsthim, thecentralsituation of contemporarycivilization. It is thatwearestrugglingwithforcesthatare far greaterthanwe can handle, with no equipmenttomakeanythingmeananything.”
“That’sjustthespirirt I wanttoimbuethem [HappyandBiff] with. Towalkinto a jungle!”
“Theonlythingyougot in thisworld is whatyou can sell. Andthefunnything is thatyou’re a salesman, andyoudon’tknowthat.”
-Willy has an affairwith her. He gives her expensivenylonstockingswhichwererareafter WWII.
-Sheappears in flashbackscenes, whichserve as a piercingpainfulremindertoWilly.
-Willy is havingdifficultydistinguishingbetweenwhat is realandwhat he wishesreal. (Delusions)
-Willyimaginesconversationswith his deadbrother, Ben, whichdemonstrates his fragile grip on reality.
-BiffandHappythink of themselvessuperiortootherswithoutanyrealevidence.
Inthisway, theaudience can clearlyseewhichevents on stagearetakingplace in reality, andwhichevents on stagearetakingplace in reality, andwhicharetakingplace inside of Willy’smind.
THE END was a recurring theme of playwrights at this time, and it would dominate much American playwriting for the rest of the 20th century.