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Saturday, 2 May 2015

Book Review: Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

Pages :  117

Read on : Kindle

Review:  This is my first time reading a play other than the ones we read in school. For the longest time I had Arthur Miller in my kindle yet never got to it.
I knew 'Death of A Salesman' was a short story about a man who's life revolves around the notion of his 'success' or what he could do once he would get that success. Willy Loman, delusional, kept chasing that dream of making it big someday despite that fact that he was already well into his 60s.  He lives in his created bubble world where he feels everything is going well and that there is still time to achieve that greatness that he dreams of ever so often. Even though in reality, it's quite the opposite. 

I wouldn't call it a split personality disorder, but more a psychological issue that has gotten to him so much that he doesn't realize what is happening around him. Excepting the truth is not something that has happened till late in his home. His wife, Linda, and sons, Biff and Happy play along to his 'perfect salesman' alter ego until one day everything comes crashing down. Willy has lived his life solely for his career, a career that didn't give him anything but travesty. His family, pretends to be happy and jovial around him. Except his son Biff, who years ago found a secret about his father who he idolized, causing him to despise the man.

Due to the obsession of living the ' American ' dream of success, Happy and Biff feel pressurized leading them to alter facts about their lives too, so that their father doesn't see them as a let down.

I loved it all. It's the perfect tale that will make you think, that even in this day and age what happens when you let work or the idea of achieving monetary success will rob of you of everything good around you. On several occasions in the book, you will notice the boys mentioning how they want to simply enjoy the day, the natural beauty around them without really being worried about money or a 9 to 5 desk job. After all of Willy's big ideas and woven dreams, nothing is left behind. 

Since this is a play, getting to know who the characters are, the flashback scenes and timeline was confusing to me. I got the idea of the story, what it was trying to convey and everything else. Just not the best in terms of placement. May be because it's my first time reading a play.

The great thing about reading a short story/play is that the focus is more on the plot and emotions than the descriptive language, which you know I love. For me this was a much needed change to get more variety in my reading. The language is typical American classic, I could imagine the vintage cars, Linda's dress, Willy's suit, hat and briefcase, the boys' side slicked and lightly coifed hairdo. It definitely was something different for me compared to what I usually read. I would recommend this to readers of all age groups. 

Final Rating : 4/5

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Mehreen,

    Very well reviewed. Willy had an exceptional zeal for life even in despair. It has a positive message. I will surly get my hands on to this sometime soon :)

    Happy Blogging!