#14: [Death of a Salesman] by Arthur Miller
When I started reading Death of a Salesman, I was convinced I had read it before and just wanted to refresh my mind, but as it turns out, I had confused it with David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross and it was actually a new discovery for me. We have Willy Loman, an aging traveling salesman who has managed to convince himself and his family that he is a big success, though all evidence points to the contrary. It appears Willy has never stopped and asked himself whether he’s cut out to be a leader, or what motivates his mad desire for success, but it quickly becomes clear that he has sacrificed his mental health in the process of trying to attain the American Dream. His grown sons are torn between the desire to be like their father, such as the younger Happy, who opts to pursue his father’s dream and try to become the success Willy never could be, and Biff, the eldest who is happiest working on a ranch under the blue skies, but knowing his father sees that option as a failure, still struggles and tries to satisfy Willy’s desire for him to be a businessman, only to find bitter disappointment in the process.
The Willy of “now” is more and more prone to losing touch with his present environment and loses himself in reveries of the past, when life was full of promise and the boys looked up to their father as a hero. But much has happened since then, and much has been left unsaid and soon Willy is confronted with a present which bears no resemblance to the reality which he has conveniently fabricated for himself in order to survive…
I rated it: ★★★★