Comparison Of Death Of A Salesman And The Glass Menagerie

869 words - 3 pages

Example: I asked Gina to accept my hand in marriage. She then

smiled and as I awaited her response, her face appeared to diffuse just as

leisurely as a dinner candle that is dripping its’ melting wax onto the fibers

of an Egyptian, cotton tablecloth.

The sentence example preceding this paragraph can be perplexing to

any reader when any additional details are not given that describe the

context in which this sentence has been written. Devoid of any transition in

the opening sentence of this paper, the audience may not be able to discern

whether the actions in the sentence are real or part of a dream or some

alternate reality. As any author or playwright attempts to transition his story

from one reality to an alternate reality, it is his responsibility to noticeably

or inconspicuously guide his audience into the next scene or alternate reality

of the story. Not doing so can lead the audience into confusion and

misperception of the intentions of the author. Playwrights Tennessee

Williams and Arthur Miller have both similar and contrasting ways in which

they apply their non-realistic techniques, with the purpose of elucidating

any transitions from the stage or script to the intended audience.

Subsequently I will explain my examination, both comparatively and

contrastively, of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman along with Tennessee

Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and each playwright’s application of non-

realistic technique.

The first major transition in Death of a Salesman transpires as the

main character, Willy Loman, is imagining that his teenage sons, though

now both in their 30’s are washing his fairly new Chevy automobile. The

audience is gradually led into transition by a scenery change along with the

monologue of Willy Loman. Within the transition, Biff’s voice is heard

offstage as Willy’s monologue now becomes dialogue. Slowly, both Biff and

Happy make their appearances into Willy’s bizarre imagining. This

transition is very subtle yet suddenly the audience is taken to a different

time and place where Biff and Happy are teenagers once again. Miller’s

approach to this transition had me a little baffled as to where the story went.

To understand what was going on, I backpedaled and gave the script

another reading. I was almost clear as to what was taking place after my

second reading. This application of the author’s non-realistic technique

appears that it can work on stage or on film but is poorly executed when

reading the script in black and white. Comparatively, Tennessee Williams

applies this technique as the story, The Glass Menagerie, transitions

between Tom Wingfield, as the narrator, to the action sequences of the...

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