Sunday, August 18, 2019

Capitalist Society in The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay ex

Capitalist Society in The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller "Death of a salesman" is a "tragedy of a common man". Throughout the play the reader sees how Willy Loman struggles to achieve something, which is beyond his capability. He has a dream, the American dream of success and accomplishment. And yet, he is not able to ever thrive because his idea of how to succeed is wrong. The times have changed, the play is set in the period of an economic boom and increasing desire for material goods in America and the Loman family is now living in a capitalist society, however, Willy seems not to have realised that things have changed. He is constantly battling between the present and the past, the reality and a dream. The play is about a conflict between a man and his society, it's a "hanging fire" between suicide and intolerably changing world. To begin with, however, it is important to identify what is meant by the term "capitalist system". Capitalist system is a type of an economy where the owners of the businesses retain all the profits for themselves. This type of a system encourages people to want more, as they hold total responsibility of how much they earn. The importance of the employer and employee relationship increases, as the workers are judged by the quality of the work they are putting into the company. It becomes a tough competition between the staff to survive and keep their jobs. There is now a need to impress on the employer with the effort and work you put into his firm and consequently climb up the ladder of success. The relationship between Howard and Willy in the play is very ambiguous. Howard on one hand is running... ... physically and mentally. He desperately tries to integrate, but he was left behind the modern world. Unable to control his senses of past and present, mixing and confusing the two, Willy fails to see the flawed nature of the system he functions in. He follows wrong dreams and ideas, which are mainly imposed upon him by the society, only to prove himself; nonetheless he is "crushed" by the unjust, competitive culture. And in addition, his personal failures add to the self-perceived wasted life of a "common man". 1. C.W.E. Bigsby: "A critical introduction to Twentieth-century American Drama"; Volume One 1900-1940 2. York Notes Advanced: "Death of a salesman, Arthur Miller"; editor: Adrian Page, 1998 3. Stratford-upon-Avon Studies: "American Theatre"; general editors: John Russel Brown, Bernard Harris, 1967

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