Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm a little embarrassed. I had my blog post all written up the day before, had a ton of time during the afternoon, and then just came home after Totems Got Talent and fell asleep! Ahaha...
Anyway, here is the old post that was supposed to be from yesterday. My next post will be from today! Hoorah!

J Reviews... Death of a Salesman
I got my reading fix last night. Starved as I am to finish any source of literature, our teacher gave us Death of a Salesman yesterday to finish before spring break. Since I'm one of those annoying kids who feels that she must always be working and yet, when working, feels as if she should be doing anything but, I decided to start reading in class and got through the first 13 pages. Then, after our tennis match, I brewed a cup of tea and went through the other 99.
Death of a Salesman is an engrossing story. The stage is really interesting because its specifically broken up and there is a lot of transition with time and light, etc. It feels like the set of a movie rather than the stage of a play - there are constant changes and the observations are mainly on character building rather than real plot. I felt that the plot was very similar to Waiting for Godot in the fact that the people just kept spinning their wheels. They never really completed anything but talked a whole bunch. But, for some reason, this play freaked me out more than Waiting for Godot.
I'm not sure why, but the symbolism hit much closer to life in this one. Probably because it's not as hyperbolic of a setting and depicts a fairly realistic family dynamic - other than the fact that Willy Loman has some attractive mental issues that send him plunging into the past while he thinks he's staying in the present. I think the reason it scared me was probably because of those memories fading so easily into the rest of the storyline. It felt like there was no transition between what was real and what was fake; when that happens, it really raises the issue on whether that's how we see our own lives or whether it is just the world of the play. Perhaps I felt the monotony hit close to home for our situation at school as well. We work and work and try to make things happen, but we can't all be great people and there will never be someone who can drag us out when we're punch drunk and unable to keep our ambitions flowing. Ultimately, this play put a great emphasis on the individualism that Americans so enjoy - then Arthur Miller struck it down by showing that, in a lot of ways, we are reliant on other people and that we are just too afraid to talk about not "being someone."
Who knows? The final scene with Ben really scared me. I think it's because I didn't realize that he had even come into the scene at that point - I even thought that Willy was talking to some other person in the room. Then, of course, since Ben's lines are all memories of a dead man, I realized that he was speaking in generalities about prospects and having flat conversation with the wall. Strange.
Anyway, at least I got my reading fix down. I think it'll really calm me down if I take a few of those little indulgences every once in a while; two or three hours to read doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to fit into a weekly schedule, does it?
Maybe next time I won't freak myself out (but, if I do, it will probably be because I am thinking again...)

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Several other book reviews are also featured on my blog, including reviews of feminist literature.