Contemporary Drama paper DOS and Fences

Contemporary Drama paper DOS and Fences - Krista Ammons...

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Unformatted text preview: Krista Ammons English 453: Contemporary Drama Spring 2007 Dr. Rich Bryan Due: February 15, 2007 The Weight of Responsibility Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Fences by August Wilson were both written immediately following the time period of post World War Two. The authors show the intense pressure taken on by the fathers in these plays. Suffering from the massive amounts of responsibility similar themes of conflict arise. Conflicts between father and son, husband and wife, and the achievement of success present themselves. By portray8ing the insecure father figure the audience sees the pressures for the success- seeking man in this most prosperous era in America. The insecure father figure in Death of a Salesman is Willy. Willy is the father of Biff and Happy and is married to their mother Linda. Willy holds a romanticized version of the American Dream due to abandonment by his father and brother. Willy never had the experience of the American Dream which has left him with a sense of longing for the normalcy and security that he never had. Willy believes that everyone has a right to the American Dream and thinks that if that person works hard enough it will fall into their lap. Willy believes entirely in the promise of the American Dream and what he considers that to be. Ultimately, Willy tries to suppress his feelings of failure through making his son into what he wanted for himself. Willys obsession with the American Dream leads him to raise (his idea of) the perfect son which takes him out of reality and into a fantasy. The American Dream to Willy equals success. Willy believes that a well-liked and personally attractive man will get his hands on the materialistic version of the American Dream easily. Willy links his ideas of being personally attractive and well liked to what a man is and how that affects his relative success. In Act I, Willy tells his boys, Thats why I thank Almighty God youre both built like Adonises. Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want (Miller 33). Willys idea of a man is one who provides, is respectable, works well with his hands, is athletic, is in charge of his household, and is full of sexuality. Willy was never respected for his occupational status; therefore, he places very high expectations on his son, Biff....
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Contemporary Drama paper DOS and Fences - Krista Ammons...

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