Disillusioned American Dreamers An Analysis of Father-son Relationship in Death of a Salesman毕业论文_英语毕业论文

Disillusioned American Dreamers An Analysis of Father-son Relationship in Death of a Salesman毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

美国作家阿瑟·米勒创作《推销员之死》以来,受到了世界各地读者们的欢迎。它奠定该戏剧作为美国最优秀戏剧之一的地位。该剧描写了家庭成员之间的矛盾冲突,尤其是父亲和儿子之间的矛盾。本研究试图探索父亲与儿子之间的冲突与和解,和他们对美国梦看法,以及前者是如何帮助传达戏剧主题:幻灭的美国梦之间的联系。

关键词:父子关系 美国梦 幻灭

Contents

Acknowledgments…………………………………………………………………………….i

Abstract(English)……………………………………………………………………………..ii

Abstract(Chinese)…………………………………………………………………………….iii

1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………1

2. Demonstration …………………………………………………………………………..2

2.1 Harmonious Relationship Between Father and Sons………………………..2

2.1.1 Willy: Material Success is Everything…………………………………………2

2.1.2 Sons’ Worship of Father……………………………………………………………..3

2.2 Conflicts Between Father and Sons ………………………………………………4

2.2.1 Willy’s Extramarital Affair………………………………………………………..4

2.2.2 Son’s Rebel against Father…………………………………………………………5

2.3 Reconciliation and Son’s Growth…………………………………………………..6

2.3.1 Suicide as the Way to Realize Willy’s American Dream…………………7

2.3.2 Biff’s Awakening from the False American Dream………………………..7

  1. Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………….8

Works cited……………………………………………………………………………………..10

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………11

Disillusioned American Dreamers: An Analysis of

Father-son Relationship in Death of a Salesman

1. Introduction

Arthur Miller was born in a middle-class Jewish family. He wrote 21 plays and a variety of long short stories and comments, which reflected his critical examination of life and the society he lived in. He took the play as “a serious business”. Throughout his life, he received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, New York Drama Critics Circle Award and Olivier Best Script award and so on. Miller is one of America’s most distinguished playwrights, known as “the Conscience of the American Theater.”

Arthur Miller’s drama creation began in his schooldays. In 1949, he wrote a play Death of a Salesman, which is known as “the first outstanding tragedy of the United States”. This work is known as a milestone in the twentieth century drama. And this play presents an ordinary salesman who sought wealth, status, and finally fails in the pursuit of the American dream. He puts all his efforts into his dream but ignoring his family. As a result, he become a loser not only in his career but also in life. The author shows falsity of the American dream and examines the price people pay for their blind faith in the American dream.

The protagonist Willy has been a salesman for more than thirty years. He has a wrong perception of his ability, dreaming of a good reputation and unrealistic good prospects by commodity marketing. So he is often in the state of boasting and lying. In addition, he believes he can achieve success and win recognition during his lifetime, while he doesn’t know that the thought caused his self-destruction. The author portrays a painful conflict between Willy and his two sons, and shows the illusionary nature and destructive power of the American dream.

Over the years, critics have shown great interest in this play and achieved fruitful results. However, most of the domestic and foreign scholars focused on the writing techniques of the playwright, the dramatic technique and the tragic fate of the protagonist Willy. Few people have discussed this drama’s theme from the perspective of father-son relationship. As a result, the study takes father-sons conflicts as the starting point, trying to explore how the illusionary nature of the American dream is reflected by the changes of the relationship between Willy and his two sons.

The paper is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on the harmonious relationship between the father and sons, which should be largely attributed to the consensus that the father and sons have on the meaning of American Dream. In the second part, the paper analyzes how the father-son relationship changes from harmony to conflicts. This part mainly explains causes for the turning points in father-son relationship. The third part focuses on the reconciliation between father and sons. This part stresses the fact that Willy didn’t give up his American dream even when he died. Willy’s motivation for suicide and Biff’s growth in understanding of the American dream will also be analyzed in this part.

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