Complete Name of the Professor
Death of a Salesman
First response:I respectfully disagree with your view that Willy Loman should be considered a protagonist in the play “Death of a Salesman” just because he and his son Biff affect each other’s character. Aristotle made numerous remarks about the definitions of drama, and laid down specific parameters about what an ‘ideal’ protagonist should be in his work “Poetics”. However, underneath the fault of his character lie his greatness, ambitions, and dreams. His inability to fulfill those dreams, as well as his tragic flaw, and most especially his desire to manifest those dreams around him were the cause of his downfall.
Jacobson (1975) remarks that Willy Loman confronts his situations in a profoundly social and metaphysical solitude. By contrast, he is a protagonist who cannot be alone, and who cannot gather intelligence and strength to scrutinize his own condition. What makes Loman a feasible protagonist is his fruitless efforts to whatever he envisages and his great aspirations despite the realization of the mediocrity of his life. The flaws of his character are what make him a viable protagonist of the play.
Second response: I respectfully disagree of your view that Willy Loman should be considered protagonist. I think that Willy’s family was not the biggest reason as to why he committed suicide. It was not his family’s fault that he was ever so ambitious and that he has an endless desire to succeed in life. It was, I think, his desires and high expectations from the people around him that broke him. “How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, when he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it’s good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it’s more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!”.
He had driven his family into the quagmire of his decisions and his attempts to influence their lives to attain satisfaction in order to be free from mediocrity. This was like a quicksand pulling him and his family into destruction. It was the mindset that he had that pushed him to the edge of his life. Willy was just not given the chance to change the way on how he sees the world, which was a privilege Biff was given.
The Glass Menagerie
First response: I respectfully disagree with your view that Laura will continue to feel miserable about her loss of Jim and that her hope of finding a suitable husband will never return. All of the characters in the play werefed by illusions, except for Laura—she was the only one who is in touch with the truth about herself. Yes, she is fragile and easily broken just like the unicorn made of glass, but she understands her limitations very well. Of all the characters, she is the most, if not only, self-aware person. It may seem that she is the weakest in her family, but she emerges as the strongest family member in terms of emotionality. I believe that despite her circumstances, she will carry on with her life and learn from these experiences.
“I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him less—freakish! Now he will feel more at home with all the other horses, the ones that don’t have horns.”
Laura’s strongest point is that she does not want to be like everybody else. She strongly desires to be different—to be unconventional. She was not trying to fit in, unlike most people of her age who are trying so hard to be accepted in the society. Laura is bold enough to be different regardless of the fact that she is very, very shy.
Second response: I respectfully disagree of your view that Laura will continue to be devastated because of Jim’s engagement. She has a strong personality deep down and I firmly believe that it is just a matter of time until she is completely healed and will continue on life. She will continue to be the unusual woman throughout her life and will likely to find a man who will accept her eccentricity.
Just because she felt disappointment and sorrow over Jim does not mean she is already similar to the people around her. We all feel pain on different levels, on different degrees, but that does not take away one’s character. She may not want to be ‘normal’ in a sense that she does not want to conform or feel what people usually feel, but having felt pain does not take away her uniqueness.
Laura portraying a seemingly does not mean she will remain this way all the days of her life.
First response: I respectfully disagree with your view that “success with women leaves Troy much more alone than he was to begin with.” I think that Troy has already taken himself beyond the emotional level of getting acquainted with women, as much as he wants to be with women. Troy’s reserve is more geared towards a contest between him and his mind. The story says, “I told him if he wasn’t the marrying kind, then move out the way so the marrying kind could fine me” – this line is suggestive of Troy’s poor interest over marrying a woman.
Second response: I respectfully disagree with your view that fences are literally built to “keep family closer”. The concept behind fences in the story is not to connote being tightly hooked in the family relationship but to create an element of security and love. I also disagree that, if at all, it induces a thought of “barriers”, particularly because the subjective understanding of fences only vary among those outside the family.
First response: I respectfully disagree with your view that sandbox mean a wanting to “place grandma in a place where she could be surrounded and contained in one area.” The storyline does not corroborate this view. In fact, grandma sounds thankful that she was taken off the farm, which to her was a move towards a decent life.
Second response: I respectfully disagree of your view that the sand symbolizes that her children did not care too much about her until the end of her life. Sand has nothing to do at all with a person’s life because of its number. I think that the sand symbolizes disintegration – something that opposes a whole, which she feels or experiences as she is confined away from her family.
Jacobson, I. "Family Dreams in Death of a Salesman." Duke University Press (1975): 247-258. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2925484.