I was 17 when I first read Death of a Salesman in my senior year of English. Our teacher got to crux of the story when she asked a quarter of us to stand up and advised the rest of us would most likely become unhappy with how our lives turned out. At 17 I remember the disappointment and reality of Willy’s story resonating with me and that it was all too real a possibility to not have your life turn out the way you wanted it too. The idea of that has always stayed with me and grows more real every year.
Watching the play again 20 years later I found new things caught my attention. Willy has a house paid off, a wife who adores him and a friend willing to help. Biff his son is less broken by the revelation of his father as he is confused by his priorities. The tragedy has become more complex and more saddening. At 17 I understood Willy’s dreams, at 38 I know all too well his insecurities but I can also see he has more to be grateful for if he can just get out of his own way. I have no doubt I could see it a different way in another few years. This is a very rich text that continues to speak to us.
Karen took me to see the play last week done by Queensland Theatre and I have been fortunate to have a review of it published with Weekend Notes here https://www.weekendnotes.com/death-of-a-salesman-playhouse-qpac/ Let me know what you think.
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