Death of a Salesman is a play by Arthur Miller.
Just finished reading this book for English Lit. This play wasn’t my favourite, but in no way was it the worst. I think one of my problems with this play isn’t because it’s bad, it’s because we sat there and read it. Plays are meant to be acted out (obviously) and I think that’s why this fell a bit flat.
What I liked about this play though, is how it makes you question your own mortality. You question your beliefs, and you question yourself. Is spending your whole entire life working to one point, not knowing if you will ever achieve it, pointless? Willy is constantly trying to earn more money, constantly trying to get more, more, more, that he doesn’t stop and realises what he has in front of him – a loving, caring wife, Linda, and two sons that love him to death (don’t read too much into that). Willy, true to his description, is a tragic hero – his fatal flaw being his ambition.
I have to say my favourite character was Biff. Although Biff could sometimes come across as a bit of jerk, his character really developed and he had grown into himself in the end. He’d realised there was no point in pretending he was someone that he wasn’t, or trying to please other people by trying to be someone else, and I thought that was awesome. He, like many people, didn’t know who he was just yet – but he certainly knew what he wasn’t. That’s something all the characters in the book failed to recognise – Willy mainly.
Linda, Linda, Linda, oh poor Linda. That woman loved her husband so much (I wonder how she would have felt if she found out about the other woman) that she was okay with him walking all over her. I think one part of the tragedy of this play is that Linda always sugar coated everything for Willy, trying to shield him from the world, always trying to use her love as a shield…and in the end that love did anything BUT help him. The whole book I was hoping she would just smack some sense into him with her stocking, but no, unfortunately not.
Overall, I think this play was very good, and it certainly makes you sit back for a moment to take it all in.