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Death of a Salesman IInitial Reaction When first reading Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller I was interested in this sad yet comical character and his daydreams I was annoyed though because many times I was unable to distinguish whether or not the main character Willy was daydreaming or not and which events were actually happening For some reason I came to identify with his son Happy more than the other son Biff I just prefered his character to the other IIAuthorial Background Arthur Miller was born October 17 1915 in New York City Millers first successes All My Sons and Death of a Salesman condemned the American idea of prosperity on the grounds that few can pursue it without making dangerous moral compromises Miller wrote his works in the post-World War II era in which communist had the nation trembling with fear Miller even criticized the Congressional action to root out communists in his play The Crucible in which he depicted the Salem witch trials Millers other works include The Crucible All My Sons and Misfits IIILiterary Period Written in New York City Death of a Salesman was influenced by the times Miller lived in In the post-World War II era in which communism was on everyones mind Miller often confronted Congresss actions against communism involving civil liberties Miller resented the treatment given by HUAC the House Un-American Activities Commitee IVSetting Death of a Salesman is set in 1950s New York This bustling city is the perfect setting for a family torn by the changing economy of America Here some people are thriving such as Willys neighbor Charley while others like Willy are struggling to make ends meet It is in New York that Biff is unable to hold a job and that Happy is able to feed his lustful appetite for women VCharacters Willy Loman - An insecure self-centered traveling salesman Willy believes sincerely in the American Dream of easy success
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