Compare and Contrast Death of a Salesman and Bookends

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Compare and contrast the ways in which Miller in Death of a Salesman, and Tony Harrison in Bookends, explore alienation and success. Miller and Harrison both explore success and alienation. However, their views differ considerably. In Death of a salesman, Miller portrays alienation to be caused by a distorted perception of the 'American Dream', in Bookends alienation is caused by Harrison exceeding his father’s expectations of success. Death of a Salesman focuses on the theme of failure to succeed in a class orientated society. The central character, Willy Loman, is from the start on the verge of a breakdown. Willy is overworked, weary and struggling to face the truth that he is a failure, this causes an internal conflict leaving him in a state of depression where he finds it difficult to differentiate between dream and reality. He lives with his wife Linda, who acts as mediator between Willy and their sons, Biff and Happy. The play becomes a tragedy as Willy Loman falls from the height of his self perception, reaching the level his name suggests, where he realizes that he is worth more to his family dead than alive. Death of a salesman debuted on Broadway in 1949, a time when America was recovering from World War 2, and trying to fight communism from within. An issue that Miller himself had become embroiled in. (Turner J.B.E, 1992) Miller uses the play to demonstrate the sadistic nature of capitalism, he uses Willy to depict how the beliefs of a capitalist society can destroy a man from within and in turn, destroy future generations of the society. Miller was born into a wealthy family, his father, an immigrant having built a company that employed over a thousand people, was the image of the 'American Dream' until the Wall Street crash bankrupted him. He was left with so little that Miller had to work to pay for his education.( Crow A, 2011) This
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