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Expressionism in Death of a Salesman

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Christina Troisi

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of Expressionism in Death of a Salesman

Christina Troisi Expressionism in "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller Expressionism According to Google Dictionary, expressionism is a style of painting, music, or drama in which the artist or writer seeks to express emotional experience rather than expression of the external world. Flashbacks The flashbacks throughout the play help create a dream like setting that interrupts the harsh reality of Willy Loman's life Music a key part of expressionism is including other types of art into the work to invoke an emotional experience Setting the transparency of the Loman's home contributes more to the unrealistic state of the play Overall, Arthur Miller's use of Willy's flashbacks, the music, and the setting blend realism and expressionism to make "Death of a Salesman" a dreamlike play. the frequent flash backs are a "folding of time" that are connected to emotional experience rather than what is actually happening in the real world By flashing back to Biff and Happy in their successful teenage years, Willy is able to evade the reality that his sons have not amounted to anything in their adult life WIilly's flashbacks of Ben show his innermost desire to be accepted, loved, and admired by his older brother, while in reality, he was abandoned by all of the male figures in his childhood the light and happy melody played on the flute in the beginning of the play sets up the dream like aura frequent throughout the entire play after Willy has his mental breakdown in the restaurant, a trumpet blast jolts Willy into a flashback where he remembers Biff failing math, which is what he associates with Biff's current failure when Willy dies, there is a single cello string that turns into a dead man's march at his funeral
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