Saturday, June 1, 2019
The Midlife Crises in Death of a Salesman, Alfred J. Prufrock, and Amer
The Midlife Crises in Death of a Salesman, Alfred J. Prufrock, and American Beauty Disillusioned and disenchanted, both Arthur Millers Willy Loman and American Beautys Lester Burnham share sexual frustrations and a dissatisfied proneness for their respective pasts, but Willy, like T.S. Eliots equivocating Prufrock, is unable to move beyond the failures inherent in his mediocrity and instead retreats into his delusions. On the surface, Willy and Lester have all the elements of settled, prosaic lives determine from the pattern of the American Dream large homes in middle- or upper-class neighborhoods, successful children, loving wives. But under this facade, both share a acquire that has devastated men and engendered distrust in their families for generations the extra-marital affair. Willys affair with The Woman is a crucial turning point in his relationship with lick, his oldest countersign. When Biff catches Willy and his mistress, Willy first attempts to distract his son an d then be rid of him. However, his attempted cover-up fails and forever shatters the idolatrous relationship between father and son. Willy Shes nothing to me Biff. I was lonely, I was terribly lonely. Biff You... you gave her Mamas stockings Willy I gave you an order... Biff You fake You phony little fake You fake (Miller 1850) Biffs discovery of his fathers indiscretions shatter the Loman familys fragile facade of middle-class happiness. Although Willy is genuinely rueful for his conduct, neither his repeated refrains of stop crying, I gave you an order (1850) nor his apologies can mend the rift between him and Biff. Yet even as Biff loses his football intelligence and wanders, not unlike hi... ...the passive salesman and the aggressive quitter. Where Willy Loman quickly makes societys ideals his own and then falls victim to his own dissatisfaction, Lester achieves happiness because he rejects the standards that society sets for a old man. Works Cited American Beauty. Dir. Sa m Mendes. Writ. Alan Ball. With Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening. Dreamworks SKG, 1999. Eliot, T.S.. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams. New York Norton, 1996. 2459-2463. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York Viking, 1965. Millar, Jeff. The Rise and Fall of Everyman American Beauty Proves firm Family Portrayal. Houston Chronicle 24 Sept. 1999, Star ed. 1. Academic Universe. LEXISNEXIS. Madden Lib., Fresno, CA. 13 Apr. 2000 <http//web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/>.