First Impression of “Death of a Salesman”

At first when we began discussing in class the background of “Death of a Salesman” I first thought the tragic element of the play is the fact that a salesman dies.  However, now after seeing the play I consider the whole thing to be a tragedy.  This is because my first impressions, especially after seeing the way the actors portray the characters, are that Willy and his family are all really depressed and lost within their heaps of troubles. Especially Willy, he just seems completely miserable. But one thing that I kept wondering about while watching the movie is what has happened to Willy that has made him so depressed and miserable in the first place? Later, when the play shows the past where Willy and his family are clearly happy and content with their lives, I now understand more about why Willy is so miserable, because, anyone would feel depressed when their dreams of being successful or plans for the future have never been accomplished, which is the case for Willy and his family.

Seeing Willy’s family be so dejected and cheerless made me feel bad for him, for his sons, but especially his wife. I haven’t seen enough of the play to know in depth about the characters and their past, but right away I feel bad for the wife, because I saw her coping with her husband’s strange behavior, his temper, and his depression.  She herself probably feels the same as Willy about the situation their in, but she probably keeps her feelings repressed.  Even Happy and Bif are tired of their father, but his wife seems to be strongly devoted to Willy.

Another question I initially had after reading the stage settings was “what was the purpose of creating a dreamy effect with the stage setting?” but as it was evident in the movie, the story switches between the past and present of Willy’s life. Knowing the difference between the past and present has been kind of difficult but otherwise I now understand the reason behind my initial question.

Overall, after seeing the beginning of the play, which has gone relatively slow so far, I already have a lot of questions, among those are: “Did Willy’s wife find out about his affair?” “Why is Willy disappointed in Bif?” “Why does Willy have this condition of not knowing the difference between reality and the past?” I’m looking forward to continuing on reading and watching “Death of a Salesman” and hopefully attain some answers to the many questions I have.

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