Fergus's Reviews > Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman by Arthur  Miller
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really liked it

Way back in 1960, I sat next to my Mom on a gleaming - though already antiquated - little post-war twin-prop ‘aeroplane’ to Toronto.

The smiling and immaculately pageboy’d stewardess handed out little plastic twin-propped replicas of the airship she was so proud of - to all the jubilant kids on board - as well as new Life Magazines crammed with photos (many of them in FULL COLOUR) of the laughing JFK and Jackie.

The dour, staid, grim Fifties were over!

Prosperity and the American Dream had RETURNED.

The changes in families we knew were obvious. Life suddenly went faster. Things suddenly had to be New, Newer or - if you worked hard enough - NEWEST. Everyone suddenly laughed more loudly.

And life suddenly became EMPTIER. Love and caring and honesty became very much less in evidence...

The American Dream was back, and the simple, magical dreams of our childhood were swallowed up in the new world of fast, cheap plastic.

But us kids felt cheated.

We had LOST something important.

And suddenly... WE felt lost.

Willy Loman wanted his son to care - but to care in the American Dream - and not in its core values as they were evinced in his boy’s innocent love, the simple love of children everywhere.

Willy’s values had been gradually and insidiously displaced - to fall under the cheaply smiling aegis of the Almighty Buck.

Radix malorum est, to quote Chaucer!

This is how parents fail their kids. Through a displacement of their deepest values. Then evil begins.

And value displacement breeds alienation, folks. Cheap lives breed cheap kids. It’s as simple as that.

Instead of resting in the love of our families, we start continually hankering after that eternal carrot dangling from the string.

You know, as a kid myself, I saw FAR too much of that.

So, as adults, we decided to scale back our lives. SIMPLIFY ‘em. We haven’t owned a car in nearly twenty years. And we’re happier.

The other thing that I realized was indispensable is Faith.

Because if you haven’t kept nurturing that, one day your world will crumble, just as it did for Willy’s son, when you see you’ve always been sold a bill of goods.

But if your Faith is intact on that day, it will stand you in VERY good stead indeed.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 27, 2019 – Shelved

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