I don’t know if it’s just me, but while reading ‘Death Of A Salesman’ for the second time, it seemed like it was a great deal shorter than previously. I don’t know whether the cause is, because of the different book or because I have a fair idea of what’s going to happen next. Other than this there are a few other aspects of this story that have come to alight to me while reading this book again.
A major slice of this book is made up of stage details, which without would make the book about 50 pages long. Zilch is wrong about including these in the story, but the issue here is that the directions featured in this book are quite extensive and leave no wiggle room. For example, ‘before us is a salesman’s house. We are aware of towering, angular shapes behind it, surrounding it on all sides. Only the blue light of the sky falls upon this house and forestage; the surrounding area shows an angry glow of orange.” Not saying that it’s a bad thing to be given a picture and be told that that’s it, but this set up leaves the audience/reader little room to create their own interpretation of this story.
Another thing I didn’t realise in till now is that throughout the story/book you are introduced to several characters, both main and extras that have complicated connection with each other. After carefully observing these characters I have come to the decision that the each character fall into 4 categories; Uses, Needs, Works, and another that I have not yet figured out. (If you know what it is called please comment about it). The remarkable thing about this relationship web is that there are many similarities between some of the characters.
For example, Willy uses Biff, The Woman, and Linda, to satisfy his wants of being successful. The same thing can also be seen for Biff, who uses Happy, Bernard, and his high school friends to satisfy his requirements of being the ‘top dog’. And lastly Happy uses; Miss Forsythe, Letta, and other woman, to satisfy his desires of being noticed in his life. Not saying that this is all of the manipulation that goes on in this play. But these few links of people exploiting other people are all relevant to what has happen in the past.
Yes, everyone knows that I have opinions of this scene, as I until now always believed that Willy acted will no thought behind his motives. But after reading it for the second time, I have realised that Willy, after his visit to Charley, was always going to kill himself and that this was his fate. The only difference now is that after rereading it I noticed that he changed his reason from why he should exterminate himself. Don’t conclude that now I think that the execution of Willy was a good event, as I now believe that his motives be hide slaying himself are a tiny bit positive. As he decided to change the reason for killing himself from, I’m a failure; to I can help somebody start a successful career.
So what have I noticed? Well through the reread of ‘Death Of A Salesman’ I have noticed the excessive stage notes, the complicated relationships between the character, and that the death scene was not all negative. The only question now is what will I notice the next time I read ‘Death Of A Salesman’?
– David Connah