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Compare Arthur Miller's life to the characters in his play, Death of a Salesman - Essay Example

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The characteristic of a good writing is one which enables the reader to gain empathy for the characters written by the author. These fictional characters shaped with much thought and affection is brought to life through the genius mind of the writer who is able to make them seemingly real to the reader…
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Compare Arthur Millers life to the characters in his play, Death of a Salesman
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Download file to see previous pages The notion of identifying with a character is nothing new. The fictional personas that we love or hate remind us of ourselves and other people that we are astonished at how a writer is able to get all the details, the idiosyncrasies and the truth of their self. All of this is achieved not merely because of the writer’s imagination but more importantly because he knows them and is thus able to breathe life into them. Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ has been an enduring masterpiece that has won him a Pulitzer Prize and marked his career as a great American playwright. Miller had always been compared alongside Henrik Ibsen and where their similarities lie is on the portrayal of social problems in their writing. But to categorize Miller and confine him in the shadow of Ibsen would be a great injustice to his work. As Harold Bloom tells it, “Ibsen essentially was a daemonic dramatist, trollish and Shakespearean, always closer to a cosmos of elemental forces, like those in ‘King Lear’ and ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Macbeth,’ than to the social world of politics and economics” (7). This is in contrast to the straightforward appeal of Miller’s work and the characterization of the American hopes and ideals as a prevalent theme in the execution of his greatest play. “For Arthur Miller, art was always deeply connected to life. Art, he believed, not only derives from life experience, but it must also respond to life and improve the conditions of life and living for humanity” (Sterling 35). Arthur Miller’s life has been a long and colorful one. This was marked by several marriages that included among others the famous actress Marilyn Monroe to whom he had written a screenplay she had starred in titled ‘The Misfits’ in about the same time they had their divorce. Their relationship was the center of media attention even before the notoriety of today’s paparazzi. They epitomized celebrity culture even before there was even such a thing. But more than this he has been known to take an outspoken stand on social issues and is one not to shy away in speaking his mind publicly. Miller had lived a most fascinating life filled with anecdotes and controversies up to the moment of his death at the rightful age of 89 in 2005(Biography.com). Even towards the end of his life, he has consistently made a mark as a voice of his generation and his love for the theatre has emanated therein. Aside from the highlights of his life during his fame, his early years reveal more of how time has molded him to be the writer that he is. The understanding of ‘Death of a Salesman’ in the realm of its authors life bears a number of manifest parallelisms not only to his own life but also to the things that are occurring during the time it was written. The theme of the narrative bears resemblance in that of the authors own and for the search of the dream we all share. Arthur was born the second child in a well-off Jewish family on October 17, 1915. They lived in an idyllic apartment with a prestigious address near Fifth Avenue in New York. His father, Isadore ‘Izzy’ Miller, was able to provide a comfortable life for his family through his Miltex Coat and Suit Company which manufactures women’s clothing and employs about 800. His relationship with his mother is the one he treasured the most. Gittel Miller, more fondly called ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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