Willy Loman Vs True West Essay

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Even though one could think that the play True West by Sam Shepard can’t possibly be compared to any other play, due to its insanity and extreme new perspectives of what a true western play is supposed to be, after deeper analysis, there can be some connections drawn to the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. The first performance of Death of a Salesman was in 1949, while True West’s first performance was thirty years later, in 1980. Arthur Miller’s play was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and Sam Shepard’s play ended up being a finalist for the same Prize. However, apart from both being successful in the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the plays have several thematic similarities that I will further analyze. Both playwrights handle with identity stability as the main theme. While Shepard uses the themes of transformation and competition around his characters, Miller uses them as well, but in a different way. The first notion that both plays use to relate back to…show more content…
The American dream plays a particular role in Willy’s mind, but also the one of his older brother Ben’s success is important to him. Willy was his entire life trying to live up to his own exaggerated expectations of his own success. When he starts to age and these dreams start to get more and more unlikely, he refuses to “wake up” and be realistic. According to Terry Thompson, a writer for The Midwest Quarterly, “Willy begins to fade in and out of pleasant memories from the past in order to escape the present and avoid thinking about what promises to be a gloomy future.” So instead, he tries to keep the façade up and channels his ambitions towards his two sons, especially towards Biff. Willy’s “competition” for success has basically failed, therefore, as Thompson stated, Willy is now “hoping for reflected glory via their business
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