Death of a Salesman | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 3 pages of analysis & critique of Death of a Salesman.
This section contains 755 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: Phelps, H. C. “Miller's Death of a Salesman.Explicator 53, no. 4 (summer 1995): 239-40.

In the following essay, Phelps examines the uncertainty regarding Biff's love for his father in Death of a Salesman, faulting critics for easily accepting Biff's affection as the impetus for Willy's suicide.

Curiously, most critics seem to accept at face value the assumption that at the conclusion of Arthur Miller's classic drama Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman determines to commit suicide because his older son Biff has at last openly and unequivocally declared his “love” for his father (e.g., Aarnes 104; Bigsby 123; Hynes 286; Dukore 39). Yet a close examination of this crucial scene and the subsequent Requiem reveals a far greater degree of ambiguity than has been acknowledged.

Though Willy has obviously contemplated suicide for a long time, he only makes his final, irrevocable decision after the play has reached its undoubted emotional climax, Biff's...

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This section contains 755 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by H. C. Phelps
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Critical Essay by H. C. Phelps from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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