Analysis Of All My Sons And Death of a Salesman By Arthur Miller
All My Sons (1947) is a play ‘for people of common sense […] concealed in life’ (quote IntoToPlays). It starts in an apparently placid and undisturbed environment where the Kellers – an ordinary, white, wealthy American family – live. The patriarch, Joe, seems to be quite literally the “average Joe”, a ‘man among men’ (quote?) always talking about success and obsessed with the post-war economic boom religion of having. Joe Keller here ‘is becoming a function of production […] to the point where his personality becomes divorced from the actions it propels’ (Quote Miller-sociology), a pedina in un progetto più grande di lui.
He is the symbol of a tipycally American ruthlessness justified by the obsession of the maintainance of a particular way of living; idea that could be very well identified in the father-son conversation where Chris accuses Joe to have killed 21 men and he replies:’You wanted money, so I made money. What must I be forgiven?’ (Quote).
Chris, representing the newer/upcoming generation, is faithful and openminded, not measuring value in terms of efficency and profit and actually unveiling with his thoughts a corrupted social system in which ‘you don’t love a man, you eat him’ (quote). He is the embodiment of that strive for freedom to choose his own life which should be that fundamental right America – the land of opportunities – promises to the good, hard worker, whom in the end will be (just like Joe) left with their actions and the knowledge they were just merely dictated by the ruling society. ?
Death of a Salesman (1949) protagonist Willy Loman is ‘as much of a victim of his beliefs as their defeated exemplar’ (quote M.intro) and his psychological instability imposed by social suppression. He is a rather brave and tragic hero incapable of settling down for less than his ultimate dream, even if this results to be unobtainable. Willy is a victim (trova sinonimo) of the deterioraiton of the American Dream, aspirig to be an independent, wealthy, self made man, able to fit in the modern business community and in the standards contemporary America set up, but who is actually just getting older (sinonimo) and more obsolete (sinonimo), stuck in the old concept of ‘the patriarchal nature of a basically benevolent society’ (quote coll.ofCritical Essays).
Just like the Lomans live in a small family house overtopped by skyscrapers, so their whole life is: imbued with a sense of basic obsolescence and inadequancy.
In Death of a Salesman (1949) the author dramatizes the malessere and alienation of the contemporary man, who only has value if fitting into a “pattern of efficency”, serving that economical machine that shapes lives and personalities of Miller’s characters.
The two sons of the Loman family – Biff and Happy – represent just like Chris Keller the younger generation of americans and in quanto tali represent two very different points of view which vengono allo scoperto particularely in the dad’s funeral scene. Here Biff actually realizes thet they ‘weren’t brought up to grub’ (quote play) and that “The Dream” is only going to consume and control one’s life, fact that doesn’t appear clear to Happy: a competitive and possessions obsessed entrepeneur (?) who – just like his father – is going to spend his life trying to reach the myth of the ‘good dream, the only dream you can have’ (quote play).
Here Miller is analysing American values and accurately weighing them; the play is a detailed evocation of urban middle class life and its hopeless ‘world of aspirin, subways…’ (Quote coll.of critical Essays)
Both the Lomans and the Kellers portray the broken idea of the American dream and the drama of men sacrificing themselves over a constructed and imposed perfect idea of this mirage, ‘Gatsby’s green light […], the false promise of a golden future’ (quote M.sociology2).
In contrast with Miller’s mimical approach, I chose to analyse a more experimental one, which I could perfectly recognize in Edward Albee’s works.
His The American Dream (1959) holds – in its mainly rhetorical composition – a ferocious attack on a fundamentally apathetic society, based on superficial and vacuous values, standing ‘against the fiction that everything in this slipping land is peachy-keen’ (Albee, E. 1961).