Death of a Salesperson (Plus 2 Associated Texts)– Journeys
Although, literally, a journey is a progression, either physically, psychologically or mentally, the detours that are encountered can vary from person to individual. Further it is the reaction of the individual to the challenges of the detours that supply lessons that might be discovered.
Differing representations of journeys and their challenges are checked out in Death of a Salesman a play composed in the context of the disillusionment of post war America by Arthur Miller, through the character of Willy Loman who faces disappointment as he wastes his time consuming himself in his unattainable imagine ‘the best world’, ultimately causing his own destruction. Loman represents an American archetype a victim of the American dream, experiencing his deceptions and obsession with success, which haunt him with a sense of failure.
In the modernist poem “Mirror”, composed by Sylvia Plath, she represents a female’s reaction to the sudden realisation of loss and aging. In a tone comparable to Death of a Salesperson, of anxiety and fear, Plath’s subject is an archetype of inevitability of death. The Scream, a futuristic painting by Edvard Munch, embodies the private facing choices on the course of fear, angst and alienation which has actually become an iconic motif for the plight of modern people. The individuals represented show actions and repercussions to the inevitable unforeseen scenarios that occur in life’s journey that challenge and inspire.
Willy Loman’s “journey” was a mix of physical and psychological, but psychologically he wasn’t moving on, he appeared to be going in the opposite direction. Willy’s absence of journey revealed as his final act was self-centered. Willy has a hard time to survive in a world where time protests him, he is swallowed up in his materialistic views which lead him to push everybody away. Miller’s use of literary methods exposes Willy’s distorted state develops into his motives of suicide. A major unanticipated detour for Willy Loman in Death of a Salesperson was Willy losing his job as a taking a trip salesman.
This detour pushed Willy over the edge to madness. Loman took pride in this image that he played himself out to be, that he thought this image of himself was a successful man which got him appreciates from his family and friends. However truly Willy wasn’t the sign of success; he was blinded by the pressure of living a best life. He was surrounded by individuals attempting to lead him back onto the right course, for him to continue and move forwards, but Willy overlooked these gestures as unnecessary and, what he thought, detours, however Willy was own detour.
Willy suffers flashbacks and hallucinations of he and his sibling Ben, effective and rich at a young age, his fractured state of mind is shown through the hallucinations, ‘I do not desire modification! I want Swiss cheese.’ Willy is going crazy, unable to understand his sentences and what he says was nonsense. The delusions create empathy in the audience as they witness his descent. It likewise significantly contrasts with the repeating of his hopes and dreams ‘I constantly knew we one method or another we were going to make it. which highlights his failure and hopelessness. “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath reveals similar links to Death of a Salesman as both individuals have a worry of the future. For them, not understanding the inevitability of what follows was shown through their responses of these detours, and their struggle with the polarities of life and death. The lady’s reaction to her own reflection showed how disgusted she was with herself, her fear of the image that was so desperately desired by society of beauty and youth.
Like Willy Loman, this lady was so superficial to believe that society was unaccepting of the people who weren’t effective, ideal or stunning. Like Willy thinking he is essential worldwide of salesperson ‘I’m the New England man. I’m essential in New England’, the mirror seems to have the opinion that it is of value to the woman ‘She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands. I are very important to her.’ Willy Loman’s failures did not just impact himself however also his household, his boy Biff was a thirty something years of age no one who is not able to hold down a constant profession.
After seeing his daddy have an affair, Biff’s plans for the future ceased, his relationship with his father ended up being estranged and he bitterly resented him. This crisis had actually hit Biff hard and he had not recovered, unable to move forward. In his dad’s eyes Biff was likewise the symbol of success, however Willy was so delusional he might not see past the faults he had made as a dad which caused his kid to repress himself from society. Although Willy idea of Biff as a successful male, he opposed himself sometimes, criticising Biff’s principles ‘Biff is such a lazy bottom … And such a difficult employee. There’s something about Biff– he’s not lazy.’ All this said in one discussion to his wife Linda. Similarly to Death of a Salesman, The Scream, an expressionist artwork by Edvard Munch, reveals the person in the foreground to be having some sort of crisis. Set out on a journey and, like many journeys, came across an unexpected detour. Not able to accept this detour, like Willy was not able to accept any barriers, he was not able to move forward from this crisis and questioned his existence, had an existential crisis.
Munch’s use of violent colour and brushstrokes suggest fear and dread for the private and images symbolising unfavorable emotional responses. After this crisis there is a loss of certainty for the future like Biff. Like Willy Loman, who might not go back to his job, Munchs’s image represents the person who can not re-make his past, it exemplifies the yearnings and anxiety of the individual represented by the brushstrokes which trigger the scene to swirl.
The abstract image communicates inner feelings that are intimate and terrifying, the gorgeous sundown has been transformed into an expression of violence and anguish. Like Miller, Munch represents the private at the climax prior to the entropic inevitability. Munch has actually created an existential icon that represents the individual who deals with complete obligation for themselves– precisely like Willy Loman– and society. Through each of the author’s methods shown in these texts they have represented the unanticipated detour differently with each character.
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman conveys the unexpected detour not as a resolution but a pitiful ending achieving this by the characters do not have of understanding of his errors. Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror” conveys a woman drowning in her griefs from her loneliness, comparable to Willy Loman’s distress. The Scream by Edvard Munch reveals and picture of anxiety and a fear of the future. These texts reveal each individuals reaction with their unexpected detour and how they respond to this tough journey.