[read: that one time Sneha cried in a black box theatre which was convenient because no one saw]
All-American and deeply sad, this is one of my favorite plays. I first read it in high school and didn’t fully understand it, though I did have a strong view on it. It wasn’t very forgiving. I hated Willy. After all, he distanced himself from his sons and had an affair and part of me thought that his end was greatly deserving because of his character flaws.
Watching the play performed live here in Boston was when my perspective changed. Willy was the last of a certain kind of generation, of the one that lived fully on the American Dream but failed to attain it. Willy made his mistakes and paid for them in his lifetime, but solemnly approached death (in the play represented by one shining light into a completely dark theatre, *sob*) as one who accepted that his fate would not change. He was meant to live this life because society provided the foundation to his ruthless, prescribed circumstance.
The universality of Willy’s sorrow is, in my opinion, what makes Miller’s play timeless. The traveling salesman is rarely seen in this country but his spirit, struggle and story do live here and I think that’s where this play stands. As an indisputable part of literary history.
10 out of 10 would recommend.