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Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman Interview

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The following is an imaginary interview conducted with the author of Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller. The interview discusses the viewpoints that are held by Arthur Miller on the meaning of life and generally on his work, Death of a Salesman. He talks about the influence he got from his life and relationship with his dad and living during the Depression as some of the things that inspired his works.

Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman Interview

Interviewer: As we begin, I would like put more concentration in your work, Death of a Salesman. In this particular play, Willie Loman’s wife is quoted saying that Willie is not the finest characters that have ever lived and that he is only human. She goes ahead to say that something awful has happened to him and thus he deserved attention and not to be permitted to fall into the grave just like some old dog. As the author, what kind of attention are you exactly referring to?

Arthur Miller: I infer that Willie Loman’s wife is talking about the support and care that the family of Willie Loman ought to give him in the context in which she was speaking. It is obvious that there is a larger milieu which basically is social and even political-that a lot of individuals are able to provide a huge quantity of their wealth to give companies or maybe the government but only for some time. When it gets to a point where they are deemed not to be relevant anymore, they are eliminated from the scene. Basically this is what Willie Loman’s wife stands for from her talking.

Interviewer: The reviews that have been done on the Death of a Salesman since its first release in 1949 have always considered it as a good work of drama. The main reason for this has always been that you were lacking moral precepts to give and that there were no solutions to the problems that the salesman was having. They are portraying that, as the author, you are full of pity. Does there exist some moral message that you are trying to pass in the Death of a Salesman that is not readily understood by the reviewers?

Arthur Miller: It is in respect to the point of viewing that one employs. The situation that Willie Loman finds himself in is a lot more of a common in the current world than it had been in the past. There are several individuals who are eliminated quite up in their productive lives in the current community than they are supposed to stay in carrier. There are individuals who have been in some wonderful positions in the job industry at certain points in their lives but they got themselves peremptorily redundant. This is actually a moral area and as thus the reviewers in a way are getting it all wrong. What it seems they are referring to is that the epicenter of the play is the humanity of these individuals and not just coming at them from some political of superior positions.

Interviewer: When writing Death of a Salesman, you were taking drama and making it new, how were you doing this?

Arthur Miller: The Death of a Salesman makes haughty pronouncements concerning the society with visions that are internalized and personal. The work is more or less about the love that fathers share with their sons and at the same time it is about bankruptcy. As the playwright, the social aspects of the play normally remain as central concerns in the individual unhappy experiences and as thus it is politics that determines the exteriors of one’s personality. In writing the play, I have always tried to infuse the characters that I use with some similar senses of mythic dimension. For instance, Willy Loman for one stands for both the prototypical American dreamer as well as the emblematic dad who integrates power as well as some sort of moral law.

Interviewer: Not only in the Death of a Salesman but in most of your plays you fathers and sons as the theme. As an individual, you grew up at the period of the Depression and you had witnessed a number of fathers get to lose themselves after they had lost their jobs. In a number of interviews, you have been quoted to be saying that you did not have one of the best relationships with your dad. How did your experience during the Depression influence your works?

Arthur Miller: The Depression gave me a feeling that the economic system is always the subject to the instant collapse at most times. Security is an illusion which some individuals fall fortunate of and get to outlive. What the work portrays is that in the long run it is such crises that normally take up and it is during the Depression that people lived in this case was something quite unfamiliar in the history of America.

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