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Death of a Salesman An Introduction to Arthur Millers acclaimed play, a post-modern tragedy I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff.

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Presentation on theme: "Death of a Salesman An Introduction to Arthur Millers acclaimed play, a post-modern tragedy I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff."— Presentation transcript:

1 Death of a Salesman An Introduction to Arthur Millers acclaimed play, a post-modern tragedy I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman! - Willy: Act II, pg. 132 © 2010 L.J. Perales

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3 ARTHUR MILLER: Review Arthur Miller was in 1915 in born in New York City. His play, Death of a Salesman, won the Pulitzer Prize. The nation responded with praise. However, critics have described the play as the first great American tragedy. Still, through all of his writing, Miller demonstrates a masterful grasp on the essence of the United States during his lifetime.

4 Death of a Salesman - Millers most well-known work - Represents the major issues within the American value system. - Some argue the play lacks basic human morals and principles. - Uses painful conflicts within an average family to create a tragedy. - Setting: NYC, Focuses heavily on two things: - Status and Success are earned privileges, not guaranteed human rights - Blind faith in the American Dream* can result in drastic, negative consequences. *American Dream: hard work + determination = the good life (with money!)

5 The Loman Family - Protagonist: Willy Loman, an salesman later on in years who is beginning to lose his grip on reality. - Willys wife tolerates him, but worries incessantly about his declining mental state. - Willys sons, Biff and Happy, were his pride and joy in their youth because of their many accomplishments, but now he is disillusioned by their lack of career success. - After working a hard life, Willy believes he deserves to retire with sufficient wealth with a sons that merit his desired legacy.

6 Millers Techniques - Miller uses episodes of flashbacks and depersonalization in Willys character to highlight the most important aspect of this play: the internal struggle of an American. - Willy is haunted by his older brother Ben, who has died. The memories explored demonstrate that Ben always out-did Willy, and Willy always wanted to be like him. - In his mind, Willy believes that being well-liked is the only road to perfect success, so he relies on his supposed charm to make connections. He develops a master plan. - Willys tragic flaw is that you fails to question whether the American Dream is valid.

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