Hey readers! I explored another facet of literature this weekend that I had never done before: stage plays. I have read a few Shakespeare plays in school before but I don’t even remotely remember them now. There are several layers to a work of literature and I always felt that a play was incapable of presenting all of these layers, but I got over this stigma after reading Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller. It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. This beautiful play explores a variety of themes such as failure, despair, realism, and the coveted American Dream. For those of you who don’t know what the American Dream is, it is basically an ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American. It allows the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved by anyone in a society with minimal social barriers. It instills the idea of prosperity or success in the mind of anyone with a vision to do something.
Willy Loman wants to die. After leading a life of travel and displacement, Willy seeks nothing but stability. Throughout his life, Willy has lived under the assumption that being ‘well-liked’ can get you anything. It is the foremost thing that a person should desire and success is all about having connections. At the bitter age of sixty-four, he realises that this has all been a lie. After a life of stalwartness and service, he finds himself all alone. No one knows him anymore and his work isn’t recognised anywhere now. He is a thing of the past that everyone wants to get rid of. Even at School a stage, he refuses to believe that he has lost his dream. He refuses to believe that in the end he was just a failed salesman. He doesn’t have any work and doesn’t know how to support his family. In such a situation, any normal human being would resign himself and let his children cross the threshold to complete incumbency of their family but that is not an option for poor Willy as he expects nothing from his son, Biff. He finds himself lost in a maze and the only way out will lead him to the fulfilment of his priceless dream. The search for this hopeless dream drives Willy to madness and his two sons, Biff and Happy, don’t know what to do.
I don’t want to underscore the plot any more as I’m afraid of giving any spoilers. The play is very well written and it widened my knowledge of human psychology and behaviourism. As we delve into Willy’s delusions, we learn more about the sorrowful troubles that can drive any strong-willed person to the verge of insanity. The play explores a very dark and realistic side of human society and its ending can send some readers into despondency. I don’t really know if it’s like that in all plays as I haven’t read many, but I was specifically blown away by the meaningful depth of every dialogue; even the ones that might seem very basic at first glance. I also loved the chronology of the play. All of the events were very well devised and planned and they unfolded perfectly. Near the end of the play, my curiosity reached the brim and I just couldn’t stop reading. I would strongly recommend everyone to read this book.
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️