ENGLISH ESSAY – DEATH OF A SALESMAN
by Arthur Miller
No one has a perfect life; everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem for as long as possible, while others face up to the problem immediately to get it out of the way. Arthur Miller grew up during the American Depression of the 1930s and is therefore aware that the American dream did not come true for everyone, but was everyone depressed or could people’s identities make the difference in a jaded life?
“I tell ya, Hap, I don’t know what the future is. I don’t know – what I’m supposed to want.”
The setting of the scene takes place in Happy and Biff’s old bedroom. The atmosphere in the scene changes very radically from two nostalgic brothers joking about the past, to a very dramatic atmosphere surrounded by father-son issues and depressing thoughts. The sudden change of atmosphere reveals that something has lured beneath the surface all along, and it is very obvious that Biff is the source of the unhappiness.
“Biff: Why does Dad mock me all the time? - Happy: He’s not mocking you, he… -
Biff: Everything I say there’s a twist of mockery on his face. I can’t get near him.”[L26]
It is very unusual to see the big brother, being comforted by his little brother; this could very well describe the relationship between the two outside of this setting.
All way through the scene the two brothers remain in the same location, but their conversation makes us imagine of completely different locations.
“In Nebraska when I herded cattle, and the Dakotas, and Arizona, and now in Texas.” [L.60]
These locations are the places Biff has been working, which makes it very obvious that he has a problem with settling down.
Biff and Happy are the only actual participants in this specific scene, but their father has a big influence on the scene even though he...