American playwright Arthur Miller, launched his interesting play “Death of a Salesman’’ in 1949. This was the recipient of Tony Award for Best Play and Pulitzer Prize for Drama of the 1949. The play had ran for 742 performances and premiered on Broadway in February 1949. In the Unites States of America, frustrations due to lack of a job is a serious issue and various research carried out shows that it is a vice running rampant, and its effects are felt in all socioeconomic levels in the society. It is understood that different economic class has its own unemployment rates and types of employments; therefore, a sales job is a problem for all people. The lower classes commit in the sales jobs for survival while the upper class do it to supplement capital and maintain control ( Eric, Sterling 2008pg2).
An elderly and frustrated Willy Loman is salesman whose income has been withdrawn and works only on pure commission, went back home from a sales trip which he was not in a position to complete within the stipulated time. He seems to be weary and fatigued of life on the road. Fifteen years later of drifting, his two grown sons, Hap and Biff came back home to pay him a visit after losing hopes in life. Willy could not understand the reason as why Biff had no job and much frustrated. The situation made Willy to engage his wife Linda in a talk to work ways through for the two sons as the boys were having a talk in their bedroom. ‘They talk about success, their hopes, and all the while Willy is downstairs having a talk himself.’ ( Sterling 2008pg3) ‘Willy is immersed in one of his flashbacks, where he relives conversations and scenes from the past and the boys are ashamed of him, and the scene transforms into a fall day, 15 years ago.’ (Sterling, 2008pg3)
This paper will focus on the idea of the American Dream either directly or indirectly, social problems approach to Death of a Salesman and theory that best supports the social responsibility approach to the death causation. Sociological theories to the death of sales man explore frustrations among groups, institutions and the society at large and education as the result of social processes, as a result of society social structure, or as the result of economic and class struggle. Social structure theories emphasize poverty, lack of education, absence of marketable skills, and sub-cultural values as the basic causes. The scene depicts how, Willy discuss and he tells his wife that he feels he is so much foolish to look at, and this is possibly why he doesn't sell as much merchandise as he could. ‘Willy is 60 years old and very unstable, tending to imagine events from the past as if they are real and vacillates between different perceptions of his life.’ (Sterling 2008pg3)
The social structure theory of the death of a salesman causation surrounding the causes of criminal activity in the United States and this covers subordinate theories like the social disorganization, strain theory and concentric theory. Social structure theories presents that the existence of criminal activity is not so much due to individual influence, but rather, more of an outcome of various social forces such as lack of good jobs, cultural practices, laws, societal norms, morals, obligations, and religious beliefs ( Bloom2007pg17). Social structure theories are based on the vital reality that crime is a social and unlawful activity that has its roots deep in the roles played by individual and groups, the organization and disorganization in society, societal dynamics, and the structure of the society. Willy realizes his son has forgiven him and thinks Biff will now pursue a career as a businessman but still has the most turbulent relationship with Linda, who looks down on him for his lifestyle and apparent cheapness, despite him giving them money. (Miller2009pg9)
It is idea of the American Dream that maintains that the sales person dies because of poverty (Miller2009pg9).
The socio –economic structure of American society can be said to be the root cause of rising rate of unemployment. It is understood that more than thirty seven million people in America lives in destitution leading to high increase among the population of lower class, these areas lack sufficient housing, poor health care services single families, more depression, less or no employment and lots of idle people. Willy was a salesman and for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life and doesn’t put a bolt to a nut, neither does he tells you the law or give you medicine. ‘He’s man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a Shoeshine and when they start not smiling back, that’s an earthquake, therefore, then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody blame this salesman because is got to dream boy.’ (Miller 2010pg9)
Being a sales person is a passion in oneself. This draws on the idea of the American Dream directly that, a person has time to consider his or her actions and acts with the desire to take another human being’s life crucial and financially advice. A person must be sane to be a sales person, have no legal authority or excuse to kill someone, and act deliberately.
The idea of the American Dream is that the death of a sales person was successful and occurred because of lack of support of the central government institute laws to consider the his salary. It can be depicted that the United States from the peasant intellectual and the elite from James IV and I believed threat their existed supernatural forces with mysterious power. The large population believed in non-commission jobs. There was no distinctive characteristic that the majority of sales people shared; not gender, not age, not wealth, not religion. The only thing that united them was the fact that they were hustlers. The diversity of the sales people is one of the predominant arguments against theories claiming that they are poor and were a deliberate massacre aimed at a specific group. From the literature, it can be demonstrated how little the fundamental nature of human behaviour has changed over time; the only variable being that of social context. It can also be understood that after the sales persons had been brought under control, it is important to understand that the analysis of legal history provide valuable information to understand the rule of law within the social environment and situations, which provide a vivid forum for society to learn from, past mistake and be in a position to manage the future occurrence
In conclusion , concentrating on death of a sales person seems to be, for many people, a very important which allows them to ignore the more significant causes of American unemployment rate, including its dying cities, inequality, deteriorating family structure, and degrading economic and social consequences of slavery and racism. To effectively tackle the death debate, more concentration should be given to important and relevant issue like creating more good paying jobs for the underclass which is at the core of crime and violence.