The Relevance To Modern Life Of The Themes Brought Up In Arthur Miller's "Death Of A Salesman"

2820 words - 11 pages

My essay looks at a sales man called willy who trys to cope with the stresses of his work and family life, and how in the present day thing like this are easy to relate to.Q:How are the themes brought up in "A death of a salesman" releveant to presant dayThere are many things in this play that are relevant to the lives of people today. The modern world is full of stress, whether it is work related, financial worries or problems in the family. Most people suffer at some time from anxiety or even depression, and suicides driven by a sense of failure to achieve are not uncommon. Particularly in the USA the belief in the 'American Dream' is strong, this belief is that any one no matter who they are can achieve what ever they want and nothing can stop them. In Arthur Miller's play, even though it was written over 50 years ago the problems associated with modern city living and pressured life styles were already apparent, particularly in the USA where this play is set. In my following paragraphs I am going to cover the topics which I think are very important to the break down of Willy and the relevance it has today. I am going to include, family life, as it is almost exactly the same as today. Then I am going to study the American dream, and finally The pressures of his job and his financial worries.'The American Dream consists of a belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, if you work hard enough you can achieve anything .To be hard working, honest and have ambition were the ways of the American Dream. This leads onto success, wealth and in enough time power. But this dream can encourage greed, selfish behaviour, pride and rivalry between one another. Willy Loman was 'caught-up' in this American Dream. It causes business to develop in the world. Capitalistic and competitive instinct, makes Willy have a weakness in his personality. This weakness was caused by a combination of business pressures.One part of the American Dream is linked to the idea of the pioneering wilderness, this took place in the early history of America, in which pioneers conquered the wilderness. His father was like one of these pioneers and Ben referred to him as a "wild-hearted man". Also his brother Ben is like a pioneer, he is Willy,s idol. He went and explored new land and came back a successful rich man. Ben tells Willy, "A new continent is on your doorstep", and that America is the land of opportunity, He is telling Willy to go out and explore like a real pioneer and then he will be successful. Willy and his sons long for a more rural life, Which is also part of the American Dream. Willy misses " the elm trees, and the flowers", also while he is driving to work he is distracted by the scenery. While he is talking to Linda he tells her, "The scenery is so beautiful up there Linda, the trees are thick the sun is warm". The pioneer spirit of the early days of America survives in the form of a love for the out doors. It is evident that Willy doesn't like the...

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