Postmodernism in American Literature Death Essay

Pages: 2 (640 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

Postmodernism in American Literature

Death of a Salesman is, a play written by Arthur Miller, can be loosely considered as postmodern literature by virtue of its being written in 1949, after World War II when most critics supposed the postmodern era began. Looking at Miller's play on a deeper level and analyzing its elements, one can see that it indeed adheres to the postmodern movement.

The play is told from the perspective of the main character, Willy Loman who is a 63-year-old salesman. Willy Loman is a rather unsuccessful salesman, only receiving small commission. He is obsessed with achieving the American Dream of being materially successful and in the process, he loses his mind. There are a few times when the play focuses on the other characters such as Biff, Happy, Linda, and Charley and the perspective shifts from Willy's point-of-view to these characters' points-of-view. These shifts in perspective are characteristic of postmodern works as Tamara Ponzo Brattoli pointed out in her article about postmodernism.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Postmodernism in American Literature Death of a Assignment

In Death of a Salesman, when the perspective shifts from Willy Loman to the other characters, time, as well as place, does not change. This is in contrast to Willy Loman's perspective where the story is discontinuous and fragmented. This is illustrated in the breaks in continuity characterized by Willy Loman's daydreams. There are shifts in time when these breaks occur. A scene starts with the present time and as the scene is disrupted by Willy Loman's daydreams wherein shifts in time occur. The present day drifts to memories from the past or to imagined conversations with other characters. Take one scene for example, when Willy comes home from an unsuccessful sales trip and he complains to his older son, Biff. When Biff and his younger brother, Happy, reminisce their adolescence, Willy engages in a daydream where he commends his sons for washing his car. In this scene, Willy's sons are shown to be young.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Postmodernism in American Literature Death.  (2009, November 21).  Retrieved May 26, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/postmodernism-american-literature-death/8343630

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"Postmodernism in American Literature Death."  21 November 2009.  Web.  26 May 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/postmodernism-american-literature-death/8343630>.

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"Postmodernism in American Literature Death."  Essaytown.com.  November 21, 2009.  Accessed May 26, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/postmodernism-american-literature-death/8343630.