Analysis of Death of a Salesman

Essay by integrlCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2005

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Arthur Miller's, 'Death of a Salesman' is a story that stems from both his personal experiences as well as theatrical traditions in which playwright was born. To be completely honest, I was skeptical about choosing this film since I have heard rave reviews about the play version from friends and colleagues. However, I have to say this film is a gripping and beautiful masterpiece. The film adaptation is very much like watching the play, but with an ideal cast and stunning camera work. The scenes are unique in that they are set up like a play, the cast is limited and the scenes are drawn out and intense. The film focuses on family as a crucial element.

Death of a Salesman is about an aging salesman who cannot sell anything, is belittled by his bosses, and must borrow money in secrecy to maintain his image to his family. What I liked most about this film was that I could easily relate to the morals, characters and situations throughout the film.

One of the elements of artistry in this film was the strong family dynamic that was portrayed. There was the father who hadn't made much of himself, pushing his sons who are inadvertently headed in the same direction, an outspoken housewife who is instrumental in keeping the family together. One son was a kleptomaniac and pathological liar, the other a low life who lacks ambition and who is neglected and overlooked by his father. Though the film takes places in the 1940s, the interaction and ideals of the traditional 'American family' foundation are fresh in today's society. Some say that Arthur Miller reworked his first version of 'Death of a Salesman' after meeting with his uncle, Manny Newman, a salesman who was a competitor at all times, even with...