Willy Loman In An All Black Production
This summer, I would like you to play the two roles of Willy Loman in an all black production Death of a Salesman, and the role of Troy Maxson in our production of Fences. Even though the Death of a Salesman is an all black cast, Willy and the story will not be any different than the original. To master Willy, he must be played as an insecure, traveling salesman.
He must always sound tired, or weary. And he has to often trail off when talking. He must move as if he is fragile, and really show that he is senile. Willy believes in the American Dream of easy wealth, or success. But, he does not achieve it sadly.
He hopes his sons fulfill will succeed where he has failed. When Willy’s illusions begin to form, and he see the true realities of his life, and his mental health begins to get worse. The tension of his actions caused by his illusions create conflict, and the main message of Death of a Salesman, so acting like you are losing it upstairs is very essential. during the story, Willy had a wrong and warped view of how to be successful in society. This is best shown in a flashback where Willy talks about his sons’ friend Bernard; Bernard can get the best marks in school, y’understand, but when he gets out in the business world, understand, you are going to be five times ahead of himBe liked and you will never want. He has the completely wrong idea of how to get ahead in this life. Willy cared so much about what other people thought of him that nothing else was important, including his ability to sell his products. This unfortunate mindset dug Willy a hole of debt and mistakes, impossible to get out of.
After some time has passed, Willy gets fired. Most readers would feel bad for Willy at this point but we cannot miss the fact that Willy was given several chances s to become better. His neighbor Charley offered him a job a lot. one of which immediately following Willy being fired. Charley says, I offered you a job. You can make fifty dollars a week. And I won’t send you on the road. Although Willy knows he’s an old man who cannot be on the road anymore, he lets his pride ruin his chance of forming a greater life for himself, and his family. Willy was constantly chasing the American Dream and if he took advantage of all the chances given to him, it could of become his reality. Willy made bad choices.
We as readers should not feel bad for him, because the only person who is held responsible for what happened is Willy himself. Despite his constant rambling, searching through his past, Willy does not achieve the self-realization typical of the tragic hero. While he does achieve a greater understanding of who he is, and the sad, yet true nature of being a salesman, he fails to realize his own failure, and his betrayal of his family during his life. He cannot grasp the understanding of who he is. Willy’s failure to realize the love given to him by his own family is very crucial to the end of his story, and the play presents this as the real tragedy. Willy still does a incredibly selfless thing for his family. He took his life as a sacrifice in his attempt to leave an inheritance that would allow Biff to fulfill the American Dream.
For the second role Sam, what you would have to know about the protagonist of Fences, is that Troy is a responsible man whose ruined dreams make him believe in self-created illusions. He needs to talk like he’s always slightly frustrated, and it has to seem like something is bothering him all the time. Troy begins the play by telling a story to Bono and Rose about his struggle with a Devil Character. Another example of Troy believing in illusions, is his lying to his best friend, Bono about the truth of his affair with Alberta. All of the characters that are a part of this play have what I would call a complicated relationship with Troy. His character creates the conflicts with everyone else in the play.
Troy creates conflict because he cannot accept other’s choices in life when they are different then his choices.Troy disagrees with Cory’s decision to play football in college, Lyons’ decision to be a musicians and, Rose’s habit of gambling. Obviously, Troy is the kind of person to make people do things they don’t want to, just for his pleasing, or his benefit. Troy sometimes thinks back on his ruined opportunity to make it big in major-league baseball, because he was black. Although he was ruined during the prime of his athletic ability, he still manages to make a good and successful living as a garbage man, and during that time period, he did very well considering the fact he was black. The reader loses sympathy for Troy, not because of the way he sees himself, but because of the way he treats his family. His wife Rose, is loving and takes lots of pride in taking care of their entire family. However, Troy decides that his life is not enough, and too boring, and has an affair. After the truth is revealed of his affair and having a child with a different woman, he proves that no matter how good his life may be, Troy will never be happy with what he has.
While its normal to crave more, Troy has what he needs and takes it to an unhealthy level. Troy is a self centered man. While he says he wants to be a better person himself, he does not let his children, especially Cory, do the same. Cory has the skills, and a scholarship to play college football. Troy however, refuses to let him play, saying, The white man ain’t gonna let you get no where with that football noway. You go on and get your book-learning so you can work yourself up in that A&P or learn how to fix cars or build houses or something, get you a trade Since Troy couldn’t follow his dreams, he believes that his son shouldn’t either. He ignores the fact that things are different that when he was young.
The audience could infer that jealousy plays a role too. Troy acting this way causes the audience to lose all sympathy for Troy.
When a person acquires wealth, they’re considered successful. In Death of a Salesman and Fences by both characters Willy and Troy go through many challenges trying to achieve this wealth through the American Dream. These challenges not only allow the audience you’re performing to identify the characters’ pride but also their inconsiderate personalities. I believe it was not America holding these characters back from reaching the dream, but actually their own bad choices. Their misfortune turns them into bitter people. At first, both Willy Loman and Troy Maxson live such unhappy lives that would seem almost impossible not to feel bad for them. They’re both middle-aged family men trying to better themselves and their families. However, in the lives of both men, unrealistic expectations, pride, and jealousy bring them to their end. After examination, it becomes obvious why they do not earn sympathy.
One big difference between Willy and Troy, is that Willy wants his sons to be just as successful or more successful than him, while Troy doesn’t want his sons to be more successful than him without his help. However, that does not change the fact that both Willy, and Troy tell their children how to live their life, and it involves a set of unrealistically high expectations. Neither Willy Loman or Troy Maxson ever achieved what they planned to in their lives. Neither became the men they wanted to be, however if the two would’ve put their pride aside, fought the illusions, and better their families, not only would their lives have been better, but they would have gotten stronger sympathy from the reader. Now Sam, Although all I have written to you today is how to play these characters, I want you to realize the real life lessons that can be learned from both of their lives. Cherish what you have and don’t let your pride take over.
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