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Death of a Salesman
1. Describe examples of some of the more non-realistic elements of the scenery? In what ways has the designer flirted with fantasy, expressionism, surrealism, or other elements of twentieth century non-realistic art?
I think that play is grounded in realism, is a kind of epitome of the real world, but it also contains elements of expressionism of twentieth century non realistic art, specifically when it depicts the portrays of Willy Loman’s mind and his emotions. The surrealism is showed by Willy Loman’s friends, dead brother, and his son’s friend too. They all seems are successful in some way that much better than him. The conflict shows when he borrows his neighbor’s money to pay the insurance but refuse to work for him.
2. What lessons do you think Arthur Miller wants Americans to learn from this play?
I do love this play. For me, it has two main things that I learned from it. The first one, which I think is what Arthur Miller want Americans to learn is that as anyone pursuits his or her dream, don’t lose the one’s self. Do not forget who you are and what you want. To be rich, which is mentioned several times by Willy Loman’s illusion of his dead brother in the movie, is not the only standard of success. In the twentieth century, America has already been known as a freedom country. People can work hard to achieve their dreams; meanwhile, the problem came with it it’s people value everything with money. . In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy is blind about who he and his sons are. He believes that they are great men who should be successful and beat the business world. Unfortunately, he makes mistake. “Miller examines the myth of the American Dream and the shallow promise of happiness through material wealth. He uses Willy as an example of how undivided faith in such a dream can often yield tragic results, especially when it goes largely unfulfilled”( ). By Willy Loman, audiences are warned that we should know what we need, what can make us happy and also distinguish the truthful and illusory as one pursuits the dream of success.
The second one, which moved me a lot, is the love between parents and children, wife and husband. I cried many times for that. And I also realized that how my parents love me and I need give them more love and understanding. That is a very important point that why I loved it.
3. Is this play a Tragedy or just a Drama? Take a position and defend it. Consult the descriptions of these two genres in the Genres resource before attempting to answer.
Although Author creates a tragic-hero, it is a drama. “A drama is a serious play that does not rise to meet the strict definition of tragedy”. The characters come from middle or lower class of America. It is exactly as the theme of drama that arises from life problems and interpersonal relationships, especially those of marriage and family. And it ground in realism. At the end, Willy’s wife keeps saying: “we are free, we are free…” which is kind of like leaving some hope for audiences.
4. Watch Tape #2 of the boxed set and describe a few of the new or surprising things you learned about this play, the actors, or the production of this filmed version.
I knew Hoffman is a fascinate actor, but before watched tape#2, I didn’t know that he loves this role so much and he put so many emotion on the film. And I also found that Author Miller has great imagine of the whole thing. After his explanation about the play, the actor or actress and audiences all have a clear mind about what is the move, the dialogue mean about. Miller is a great playwright. In conclusion, this is a fantastic play and the movie is moved with a batch of outstanding crew.
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