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Marang: Journal of Language and Literature

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Search for Self in Arthur Miller's The Death of a Salesman

N Maleki, N Hooti

Abstract


In spite of much research on Miller's The Death of a Salesman, no significant studies have been carried out on the aspect of ‘search for self’. This study re-justifies the need for a contingent model of the quest for identity, drawing ideas from the multiple manifestations of the threatening of self. It emphasizes the minimization of philosophical treatment and theorizing on self, on the grounds that the focus is on how Miller has dramatized the search for self among the different characters of the same family. The quest for self is expressed through a nostalgic yearning for the past, which has been lost due to various reasons. The process of search for self is spread over two generations, which enhances the effectiveness of Miller in depicting the struggle between the self of an individual and the public self the individual is compelled to put on as a mask. The dramatic strength of the play lies in the fact that it has interwoven the crisis of self in the life of the individuals and the broader changes taking place in the American society. Moreover, the study tries to display the intersection of psychological, social and emotional factors to which an individual self is subjected.

Keywords: search, self, identity, literature, them-quest




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