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CRITISMS OF DEATH OF A SALESMAN

The immense international success of Death of a Salesman comes from the intellectual force of the plays central idea prevailing over the glaring defects of Arthur Millers execution. But the relevance of this central idea, connected with door-to-door salesmen and the Darwinian nature of rampant capitalism, has withered with time and changing technology, and even if it hadn't, Miller still failed to craft a play befitting Salesman's exalted reputation." (Cardullo)
Perhaps the most memorable single remark in the play is the quiet observation that Willy Loman is liked . . . but not well-liked. In America, this is not enough. (Oates)
"Have you ever loved a rock band that had lots of great songs you cherished? But then the bands hit single, the one everyone knows by heart, the one that gets all the airtime on the radio, isnt a song you particularly admire? Thats the way I feel about Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman. Its his most famous play, yet I think it pales in comparison to many of his less popular dramas. Although its by no means a bad play, it certainly is overrated. " (Bradford)

"The success of Millers tragedy, in part, is a combination of dramatic irony portrayed by

Willys monologues. Protagonist Willy Lowman spends his life pursuing the American dream as a salesman. The reader gets a view of Willys past and present life through his thoughts. Miller reveals Willys past through monologues and also by theatricalizing his thoughts and past life. At times its confusing since the play constantly moves between present and past. The reader or viewer must pay attention to follow present time versus Willys thoughts and memories. The irony lies in Willys thoughts and perceptions of reality versus true reality. I am new to Miller but am captivated by this drama. As a common man Willy is an easy character to relate to. Willys tragedy results from his miscalculations and distorted perception of reality. Psychologically Willy lives in denial constantly lying to himself with self talk and lying to others to cover his disappointments. No matter how hard he tries Willy

cant make life match his dreams. Even though my life is very different than Willys, I can

feel the dissonance between my inner longings and the outer reality of my life. The common person can identify with Willy; often our ideals in life are just beyond our grasp. The dramas ending gives the impression the problem is not over. The rest of us will make miscalculations and some of us will refuse to acknowledge them. The tension between desire and reality makes this drama depressing. We were created for something better than this world can offer us. Since the world has fallen from Gods original design we, in our sinful condition, will live with the tension between inner desires and outer reality. Miller demonstrates the fallacy of the American dream and leaves the reader without a solution. It is a tragedy; of course there is not a solution. But its painfully true. The problem wont go away, but we can live here with hope and make a difference in this world because of a God bigger than this world." (dissonance)