Arthur Miller clearly embraced the method of a classical Greek tragedy by asserting that Willy Loman is ‘as appropriate as a topic for tragedy as Kings are’. Miller represents Willy as a dedicated guy having a hard time to reach the intangible American dream by challenging Aristotelian convention and by using time as a structural motif to successfully depict the lead up to his death. This ultimately depicts him as a modern awful hero. The mobile concurrency consistently used is of an excellent value to the play.
They act as a recollection of his past memories, a dream world using to get away the harsh reality of what he is dealing with at the existing moment in time. Leah Hadomi, in “Dream and Truth: Dramatic Rhythm in Death of a Salesman” stated:’When reality becomes too painful, Willy retreats into a dream world, including his recollections of the past and of fantasies in which he ful? lls the goals, the achievement of which has actually avoided him in life”.
This declaration is, to some degree, real as the ‘dream series’ seems ideal, with a repetition of ‘We’ll’ by Willy and Delighted, when they go over ‘carrying bags’, an ultimate understanding of Willy’s dream world. However, even within this ordered dream world, Bernard pops the bubble in which order was preserved, as he asks Biff to ‘study’. Making use of the word ‘anaemic’ is intriguing, as it can indicate a lack of colour on the skin. Perhaps Miller is stating how Bernard doesn’t suit Willy’s classification of ‘normal’, as normal methods you need to be ‘well liked’, something that Willy kept which eventually lead up to his death.
We see in this mobile concurrency how Willy is attempting to maintain order by ‘dreaming’ yet this order discreetly becomes condition as the world doesn’t exist as a ‘floating balloon’, there needs to be someone to anchor us, and in this case, it is Bernard. Disorder and order are part of Aristotelian convention: the reality that in a tragedy, condition is after the disaster, yet order will try to be maintained (e. g. in Othello, Lodovico will try to keep order in society after the death of the moor).
The disaster here can represent the delusional present state he is living in, and the ‘order’ can be preserved financially as Linda is now ‘free’. So even in his mind, there is condition which arouses sympathy from the audience as we understand how minds are so complex. Making use of location and environment likewise highlights an Aristotelian convention. There is a cyclical quality in the play: the fact that the stage directions at the start promote a heavenly quality and towards completion there is some spiritual sense. Miller here challenges the classical tragedy technique by using long phase directions, whereas in a play like Othello, there wasn’t any.
The “dream rising out of reality” greatly contrasts with ‘we’re free’ which Linda repeats. This assesses the idea of the mass of the souls of the dead, and the liberty in motion. Miller plainly uses this cyclical ability as a structural time theme to reinforce the message of faith. The requiem serves to be concentrated, and permits us to make a contrast in between faith as a spiritual guidance, and Willy’s tragedy. In classical Greek catastrophe, there was some ‘assistance’ in one way or the other: Othello being a Christian so he would want to god, or others having ‘kings’ to appreciate.
Nevertheless here, there is no spiritual grounding within the Loman home, so we understand how a lack of religion and grounding can result in irreversible effects. The phase instructions at the start of the play also reveal overbearing urbanisation in the sense that the structures are “towering, angular shapes”, which represent the restricting power of individualism. This backdrop versus the city demonstrates how the Loman house is irrelevant. Andy Warhol’s paintings reveal the express the fragility of the American dream through his ‘paintings’, yet in this play, we see the devastating results of how the capitalist society results in his death.
The truth that Miller controlled this to enable these long phase directions be at the start portray how he desired emphasis the corruption the capitalist society brings onto us, and this is strengthened by Howards inhumane treatment towards him: “You didn’t split up again, did you? “. The ‘real time’ period is also a crucial factor. The play was composed at around the time of the 1940’s, after the ‘terrific boom’ in the 1920’s had actually occurred, so Miller needs to have used the idea of the ‘boom’ and how the American dream was a limitless hope where one would imagine ‘possibility and a high social status’.
As the Wall Street crash occurred in 1929, we see that possibly Miller composed this play to underline the style that the American dream was constantly intangible without faith, or some grounding force, yet the Loman household didn’t understand this, and this was their hamartia. One may state that due to the fact that Miller himself was associated with communist activities (Arthur miller: a crucial research study), he had a Marxist tourist attraction, and maybe wishes to show how Willy was entirely destroyed by the capitalist society which was “grappling with a much superior force” (Tragedy and the Common Man).
His social remark made at the start of the play that Willy was “past 60years of age” demonstrates how Miller is not financially feasible, as in the American post war society, he is redundant. This demonstrates how the society is mainly utilitarian, and how individuals can be gotten rid of when they run out ‘value’. Miller implements our knowledge on the post war American society and permits us to make our decision, on whether his demise was due to the grappling society, or the truth that he ‘had the incorrect dreams’. Miller carefully took a danger by thoroughly casting aside significant convention by focusing on ignored people in society.
He built salesperson around the accumulation of little and discomforting information and discoveries such as the rubber tubing which Biff discovers (“extracts a length of rubber tubing”). It is only the time of when this is occurring is when these little details pain us a lot. For example, Biff finds the rubber tubing in the evening, prior to the end of act 1, which traumatises not just the characters, but us too. This breaks the linear narrative convention and enables us to harp on the principle that Biff exists in the method he is, (e. g. not appreciating him by saying “what the hell is the matter with him”).
Biff had no grounding from the start as we can see in the mobile concurrency (Willy leading him along by “stealing”), so the next act functions as incorrect hope to the Loman family, the hope that Biff will comprehend his father, in which the audience play the supporting function which Linda normally plays. It also assists the audience feel cathartic, an indication of relief, before the significant disaster of his death happens. Miller successfully manipulated the time in order to show a repeating death image towards the end, and to reveal skewed concepts on life Making use of ‘time’ actually decreasing the text on the page is rather significant too in act 2.
Willy’s lines are quite fragmented, and portray the sense of Willy decreasing time. This represents some sense of hope in the sense that the household will be normal once again and your home will be argument free. The pastoral components such as the time of the day, the ‘coffee’ and the ‘saccharine’ focus the outside appearance as some sort of synaesthesia and artifice. Maybe it depicts how although Willy wants to decrease time, he is more ambitious from his ‘rest’, and therefore it prepares us for his failure later in the play.
Willy’s downfall is likewise due to ‘the lady’ and ‘Linda’, and in the time the play was composed, women were treated as sexual objectification, also referred to as the ‘Madonna Syndrome’. The repetition of the ‘female laughing’ throughout the play stresses the fragmented state of mind Willy has and the ‘guilt’ he has actually, associated with the female. With Linda, we do not see any social life connected with her; all we see is that she is merely Willy’s fan as she always “makes excuses” up for him, and the dishonesty that she understands his flaws lead to his failure.
The reality that Linda leaves Willy responsible (I can’t comprehend it, Willy) shows incapability to direct her, and we see her character disintegrate. We for that reason see, as a modern-day audience, how females are imprisoned, and clearly we could see that the female was put behind bars in Willy’s mind (through mobile concurrency), and Linda being physically put behind bars. Miller again controlled time to echo a social comment about females being sent to prison, so do we therefore see Linda as a terrible victim, more than Willy in society?
To conclude, Miller effectively controls time through lots of methods such as mobile concurrency. Willy’s death was merely his blockages from the past which stopped him from leading on his delusional present. Miller successfully represented how he fell from a mediocre guy to a state even lower than that on the hierarchy scale. On an individual level, the cyclical quality Miller presents in the fact that there was no religious grounding shows how absolutely nothing can be possible without faith; the cyclical quality strengthened it by using time at the start, and at the end, to see what message Miller was reinforcing.
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