This American drama was first premiered in 1949. It was an instantaneous success and it likewise won Arthur Miller a place amongst one of the very best American playwrights of the 20th century. It was a satirical attack on the Excellent American Dream of prosperity and material wealth and had also challenged the perfects of the previous 160 years that made up such dreams. This excellent play by Arthur Miller is a modern work of art, in which the intrinsic conditions of human presence and a strong battle to fight through it, is lived by the lead character Willy Loman, that finally ends in a tragedy called, death.
Willy Loman is a disillusioned sixty 3 year old man who has difficulty distinguishing between past and present, and reality and impressions. His illusory beliefs draw an iron curtain prior to his perceptiveness and he refuses to see the truth of his abject conditions. His catastrophe depends on the fierce determination to fight a difficult battle and to seek facile options to his serious economic issues.
In his relentless pursuit of an impractical dream Willy Loman submerges himself in a complete disengagement from truth that brings an end even more awful than his life.
Being an irrepressible old guy he never ever actually examines or understands the incorrect and insufficient worths of a venal American society. He stops working to understand the vacuous concept behind the ‘Fantastic American Dream’ and his limitless hope. A comparable theme had actually been depicted in ‘The Great Gatsby’ (Fitzgerald) where Gatsby was corrupted by cash and dishonesty, and the Great American Imagine happiness and individualism disintegrates into mere pursuit of wealth.
Although Gatsby had the power to turn his dream into truth, the character of Nick discovers that both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream is over. In the same way, Will’s consistent struggle against the forces of entropy in his life leads him to neurosis, and finally suicide. Theater is a pictured world, occupied by fictional characters, but disaster strikes one and all, and the nature of tragedy is to strike our inmost awareness and attack our perceptiveness with its prolonged stay.
Robert A Martin states in his essay, “The Nature of Tragedy”: “What the performance of a play provides an audience is less a set of concepts, propositions or abstraction about life and how to live it than what Arthur Miller has called’ a felt experience’, the imaginative sharing and participation in the lives and actions of fictional characters.” In support of what Robert A Martin states, Willy Loman’s character pulls the audience along with its chain of tragedies and leaves one with a sensation of acute distress, however more than “a felt experience” it also provides one an insight into the inherent realities of human catastrophes.
In “Death of a salesman” the audience see the terrible collapse of a single individual and the catastrophe of the entire household, right before their eyes. The audience leave the auditorium with an entire brand-new set of lessons in life and as Martin says “how to live it.” In his short article Robert A Martin likewise elaborates on the vicarious impacts of a catastrophe, on the individual, who watching it with a detached sense of belongingness. He states,” Theatre is the art of the possible” and as we checked out the play we believe that Willy Loman’s disasters are not unbelievable or fictitious although his character was an imagination of the playwright Arthur Miller.
As Aristotle stated that Tragedy is something that evokes the feelings of pity and fear in the presence of an action of a certain magnitude. Willy Loman likewise falls under the trap of tragedy and as the nature of tragedy is, it brings about a fear in him. Willy attempts to escape from that worry and refuses to accept his miseries and his failures. It mainly occurs with remarkable experiences that our thoughts and feelings often refer those of the characters we see in a play– we weep, smile and get moved by their efficiencies. It continues to promote and engage us straight in our social, moral and political questions.
The audience too goes through an inveterate interchange of pity and fear inside his mind as he sees a human being go through an uncomfortable hell, which remains in Miller’s view due to his own obduracy. “Death of a salesperson” is not simply a tale of catastrophe that happens to a broken, tired male, however is also a caustic attack on the American Imagine accomplishing wealth and success without any concerns to principals and values of life. Willy Loman became a family name after the play was released and became an extensive example of an awful life, bowed down by struggles to cope up with a capitalistic society.
Willy Loman’s disaster does not lie simply in his miserable financial condition, however likewise in his lost sense of pride. In the play he takes loans from his next-door neighbor Charley to make both ends satisfy, however refuses to accept the deal of a much better job from him. His distorted sense of pride can be found in the way of his opportunities to improve his conditions. His rejection to accept reality is a tragedy larger than his depressing life, and it annoys his son Biff with whom he had a distressed relationship. Willy refused to accept that his boys are also ‘failures’ such as him, and in order to make their lives better he falls under a trap of more despondence. A guy’s descent to failure is horrendous to ponder. Whatever type of work you remain in, we are all salesmen, offering our products, our services, our selves”.
States Will’s meighbor Charley, in a line that takes shape the anxiety of vast men everywhere, not just in America:” And when they start not smiling back.”– employers, partners, consumers-” That’s an earthqauke.” (Kilnghoffer, Undying Salesperson, 1999). Willy Loman experienced a feverish and impractical hopefulness and regret of having failed his sons, and also the refusal to accept specific facts of life.
The neurosis that set in him impacted his life, and also him led to suicide. His death was perhaps a bigger catastrophe than his life because it proved to be the last blow to the sorrow stricken household. Due to his persistent stubbornness he believed the idea that a person is typically “worth more dead than alive” (Miller, Pg76) and commits suicide, so that his family gets the insurance money and his kids lead a much better life with that money, than he did when he lived. Willy did not recognize that insurance cash is invalidated when an individual commits suicide.
As Biff says at the graveyard,” He had the incorrect dreams. All, all incorrect.” In this play catastrophe is on two fronts. One is ‘literal’, when Willy dies after an unrelenting wrestle with his fate, and another is a ‘symbolical’ death, that was the death of the American Dream, or ridding of an incorrect idea of excellence. Willy’s guilt, his idolization of his sons and his continuously haunting memory of his bro turns his life into a pitiful tragedy and he lives through everything with an immature sense of unreality.
In trying to predict himself as an ideal dad and salesman he plunges himself into an illusory world where he never ever really matured. “I’m gon na show you and everyone else that Willy Loman did not pass away fruitless. He had an excellent dream. It’s the only dream you can have- to come out number– one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gon na win it for him.” (Miller, Death of a Salesman, Act2) The misfortune of Willy was that he tried to retrieve his lost self-respect and his household’s love and likewise an amplified picture of himself as a perfect salesperson and father, on the last day of his life, and loses all.
His complete disengagement from truth is what the tragedy is all about. It evokes the pity and fear that Aristotle discussed in ‘Poetics’ (330 BC). The character of Willy Loman is befitting the concepts of Aristotle’s’ Disaster. “True to life” (practical), “consistency” (real to themselves): meaning, when a character’s inspiration and personality are established these ought to continue throughout the play. “Needed or likely”: significance, characters must be logically built according to the law of ‘possibility or requirement’ that govern the actions of the play.
Lastly, “real to life” and yet more lovely (idealized, ennobled). Death of a Salesperson has that real to life aspect, portraying the fact that any middle class man with restricted means, would enter into the delusionary world of dreams and goals of more wealth and the terrifying darkness that lies coiled underneath such unrealism. Consistency of the representation is apparent in Loman’s unrelenting pursuit of an evasive life.
The necessary possibility is the reality that such a dogged belief in illusionary world nearly always develops a chart of downward slide in an individual’s life. Real to life, is the condition of tension that is life and human existence. Death of a Salesman is a modern-day work of art that celebrates, as Chris Bigsby expressively states,” the wonder of human life, in all its confusions, its betrayals, its denials, but finally and most substantially, its transcendent worth.” (Poet, 723).