A Doll’s House and Death of a Salesman

A comparative analysis of the plays A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

This paper provides a compare and contrast analysis of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller. It discusses how both plays are about fallen families and how, in both cases, the fall occurs in proportion to the deception that the family members opt for themselves. It examines how both families try everything to tune up with society’s expectations and their own wishes and dreams and how both plays tell us that most of us choose to play roles and deceive, not only those immediately and distantly around us, but also ourselves. Although the two plays end with voluntary self-annihilation, or suicide, they also end in the characters’ getting released. It is only their respective deaths that put an end to their inner torments.
There is greater ease in reading Death of a Salesman than A Doll’s House.` In the former, the struggle is towards confronting the reality of failure and compensating for it. Although Willy destroys himself to enable his son to have the money that can insure his own success, his suicide results in the release of everyone in the family, including himself, from the brunt and pain of unfulfilled ambition and financial lack. As Linda, his wife, says at the end of the play: `We’re free… She feels redeemed from the clutches or Willy’s all-consuming desire to be economically comfortable and free of unpaid-bills. His death even comes directly to pay those debts and make possible the wife’s and sons’ making it better in their own pursuits.

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