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Death of a Salesman

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Expressionism: can be used to describe various art forms but, in its broadest sense, it is used to describe any art that raises subjective feelings above objective observations. This art form may be speculative and/or abstract. The aim is to reflect a state of mind rather than the reality of the external world. E.G. Munch's "Scream"

Realism: This is the tendency to reveal or describe things as they are actually experienced. It attempts to capture real people doing everyday things.

As to the setting part, in order to let the audience see the inside of Willy's head, which is a mass of contradictions, Miller designed a transparent setting. The transparent lines of Loman house allow the audience physically to sense the city pressure that are surrounding and destroying Willy. About lighting, At the end of act I , Biff comes downstage into a golden pool of light as Willy recalls the day when Biff is going to the city baseball championship. The pool of light establishes and suggests how Willy has exaggerated the past, given it a mythological-story atmosphere.

Through these various expressionistic devices, we get to know Willy Loman's world where social and personal values encounter and struggle for integration; the full flow of inner and outer forces that are sucking him. He may be a tragic hero, who has great dream (as we acknowledged, the American dream) but fails because of the limitation in self-realization, characteristics or improper education. (tragic flaws) However, we can also view this tragedy as a result or sacrifice of the competing and realistic capitalized society. A death of a salesman; a death of pure, idealistic American dream.

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