Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (Dialogue) by Eric J. Sterling

By Eric J. Sterling

Arthur Miller's dying of a salesperson, the 3rd quantity within the discussion sequence, covers six significant and debatable subject matters facing Miller's vintage play. the themes contain feminism and the position of girls within the drama, the yank Dream, company and capitalism, the importance of know-how, the legacy that Willy leaves to Biff, and Miller's use of symbolism. The authors of the essays contain fashionable Arthur Miller students akin to Terry Otten and the overdue Steven Centola in addition to younger, rising students. a number of the essays, fairly those written by means of the rising students, are inclined to hire literary conception whereas those by means of the demonstrated students are inclined to illustrate the strengths of conventional feedback through analyzing the textual content heavily. it truly is attention-grabbing to work out how students at various levels in their educational careers strategy a given subject from unique views and occasionally different methodologies. The essays provide insightful and provocative readings of dying of a salesperson in a set that may turn out really necessary to students and scholars of Miller's most famed play.

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Most obviously, Linda emerges as a kind of two-dimensional service station, existing to aid or support the needs of her richer, more complicated dramatic partner and the play’s protagonist, her husband. 5 Linda’s presence within broader criticism of the play occupies a space similar to that which she occupies on stage: peripheral and unimportant, with the exception of (and relative to) her interactions with the more important male protagonist. As theatre historian Ric Knowles points out, analysis of a play text and its performance can be usefully understood as a “negotiation at the intersection of three shifting and mutually constitutive poles: performance, conditions of production and conditions of reception” (3).

Timebends. New York: Grove P, 1987. —. “Tragedy and the Common Man” in The Theatre Essays of Arthur Miller. Robert A. Martin, ed. New York: Viking, 1978. (3–7) Nilsen, Helge Normann. 2 (1994): 146–156. Otten, Terry. The Temptation of Innocence in the Drama of Arthur Miller. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 2002. Rubin, Gayle. “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex” in Toward an Anthropology of Women. Raya R. Reiter, ed. New York: Monthly Review P, 1975. (157–210) —. 2–3 (Summer/Fall 1994): 62–99.

D]umb, slaving, tender, innocent,” as constructed out of Willy’s childish male ego, “in fact she is much tougher. . [S]he has chosen Willy! To hell with everyone else. She is terrifyingly tough” (Rowe 47). Miller obviously concurred with Kazan’s reading of her. He recalls in Timebends how Kazan forced Dunnock to “deliver her long first-act speeches to the boys in double her normal speed, then doubled that, and finally she . . ” Even when she slackened the pace, “the drill straightened her spine, and her Linda filled up with outrage and protest rather than self-pity and mere perplexity” (184).

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