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Realism in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Realism in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Realism may be defined as an attempt to reproduce the surface appearance of the life of normal people in everyday situations (Kennedy 1410). Basically realism is a situation that normal people can relate to based on their own experiences. Realism is extremely prevalent in the play Death of a Salesman. The characters in the play have real world problems. Lack of money is one of the problems, which is a problem for many people. There are also many conflicts within the family; related to each characters definition of success.

Willy Loman also wants his children to have a better than he has and tries to do everything he can so they will have a better life, including ending his own. One realistic situation that many people can relate to is money problems. Money is one of the main problems that Willy Loman had throughout the play. The Loman family had many purchases on payments. Linda even states “for the vacuum cleaner there’s three and a half due on the fifteenth” (Miller 1650). The Loman family was living from week to week. Every time Willy came home from a fairly successful day selling, he would think he was finally getting ahead. Willy would tell Linda how much he had made, but she would then point out how much they owed on everything. Willy then felt overwhelmed and said “My God, if business don’t pick up I don’t know what I’m gonna do!” (1650). Linda would then reassure Willy and tell him “Well, next week you’ll do better” (1650). Many people in real life have this same problem. Every time they feel they are getting ahead financially, a problem occurs and they find themselves right back where they started.

Most people also have to deal with problems and conflicts within their family throughout their life. Family problems were not exempt from the characters in Death of a Salesman. Biff’s idea of success was completely opposite from Willy’s. Willy viewed success as achieving money and power; Biff however viewed success in life as being happy. Biff realized that “I’m just what I am, that’s all” (1703). Biff realized he was “a dime a dozen” (1703), but his father could not accept this reality. This situation where parents always keep telling their children what they should do with their lives is common in many families.

Prejudice and Racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Racism in Heart of Darkness

In the novel, Heart of Darkness, the author Joseph Conrad makes some comments, and he uses different terms to describe people of color that may offend some people. Also the readers can see how racist the Europeans were toward blacks not only because they were turned into slaves. We can see how the European people seem to think the Africans are not equal to them. There are many examples of discrimination towards woman in this story. Women were looked down and they were considered to be worth less then men, or even not as important. Racism and discrimination are all over in this novel.

Joseph Conrad makes some remarks about blacks that are very disturbing and racist. One example of this is when he says, “…the thought of their humanity-like yours…Ugly” (Conrad). This just goes to show how Conrad was a complete racist. The thought of a black man’s humanity being compared to Conrad’s was just plain ugly to Conrad. That is plain and simple racism. Another example is the first time he saw a black man he said, “A certain enormous buck nigger encountered in Haiti fixed my conception of blind, furious, unreasoning rage, as manifested in the human animal to the end of my days. Of the nigger I used to dream for years afterwards” (Conrad). This remark Conrad made was disturbing and clearly racist because he described the black man as a “nigger” more then once.

The Europeans were racist toward blacks. We can see how the European people seem to think the Africans are not equal to them because their black. For example Conrad says, “the thought of their humanity-like yours…Ugly” (Conrad). This just goes to show that when Conrad is compared to a black man he is discussed because he is racist. One reason we say the Europeans were racist was because they made the blacks be their slaves. The audience can see the people of color doing work for the white people and that just goes to show that they were racist.

Women are discriminated throughout this book. There is not place in this book in which a woman has a job of equality to a man. The audience can see that the men do not treat woman very well or with any respect throughout Heart of Darkness. For example Kurtz had a mistress of some kind and she is described as a savage.

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