"Setting is an important element in a play, because it can contribute economically to the revelation of character. Discuss this in Death of a Salesman

Essay by lead_poison August 2006

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Arthur Miller wrote death of a salesman in 1949 which is the same time period which this international recognized play was also set in the same time in which he wrote it in. It was considered one of America's first great tragedies dealing with the tourmmentful conflicts with in a typical family. This particular setting holds a great importance to explaining the protagonist's, Willy Loman actions, behaviour and atmosphere.

During the 1940s America was in post war sate. After World War Two the United States faced intense and opposing domestic tensions, although the war had given the society a sense of pride and authority soon they would be involved in the cold war. Propaganda and dreams of the ideal life style arose; a nauseated façade of the American Dream was being created. So many American families focused their lives; this obsession with materialistic possessions became a controlling factor. Most of the time merely consumed because of publicity or for an attempt to prove your status in society and to be better than your neighbour.

This whole idea of blind faith towards the American Dream and the obsession which society clinged to, trying to move away from the depression of the war and having more opportunities available for you, being successful & popular, freedom of speech, democracy, a large house, a nuclear family, these were all distinctive elements which consisted of the American dream.

This is clearly portrayed through the protagonist Willy Loman with his constant façade of wanting to be liked by everyone, being more admired as a professional making himself be perceived as more successful than what he really is. He clearly showed this when he returned from a business trip from Boston, and he lies to his wife's face about what he made exaggerating his commission by doubling...