Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Death of a Sales Man

Last night I watched a film adaption of 'Death of A Salesman' staring Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich. There is some great thinking that went into the writing of this by Arthur Miller. It explores themes of family conflict, idealism, The American Dream, commercialism and male egotism.

One of the major strengths of this play, as a piece of writing, is how fair it is to characters that one assumes Arthur Miller had little liking for. Willy Loman, the main salesman of the play, displays his love of his family despite being unable to connect with them fully. He puts the long hours in and is still supporting his oldest son at the age of 34.

So this is not black and white treatment. There is ambiguity and a richness of complexity within the writing.

There is a great lesson in this work for any aspiring writer: have great sympathy for the characters who do not share your views of the world. This will contribute to the greatness and potency of the work.

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