I think I prefer this one to "All my Sons," also by Miller. Yet still, it was not a very enjoyable read. Plays are meant to be acted out, and no matter how wildly my imagination is, it can never recreate in my inner eye how it's supposed to look.
What I liked about this play specifically is the way Willy Loman switches between past and present, like a delirious and senile old man that he is. It really confused the hell out of me, as I am sure Willy must have felt confused about everything that was happening.
Also, he is one bitter character. His head as big as a hot air balloon, and just as empty with nothing but air, he thinks he and his sons are actually going to achieve something big and successful. And not just that, but he is in constant denial that there is anything not right with his theories. But no matter how he is fixed on things, and how much he is in denial, I still cannot deny him that bitterness. He was dreaming the American Dream, to become successful, rich, famous. To have so many people at his funeral. And for him, that didn't work out, even though the people around him prospered.
What I do not understand is why he cheats on his wife. Why he dares say that he is lonely. I do understand that being alone and being lonely are two totally different things, but... His wife understood him, obeyed him, loved him; in short, she's been everything a wife "should" be. Should between quotation marks, seeing as this is society's standard, and what everyone expects of her, basically. She even lies and chooses to live in ignorance only to let him have the life she thinks he wants. She puts up the facade more easily then Willy or their two sons.
But then... I will never understand cheating, so yeah.
I do like how his son stood up for himself in the end. How Biff, regardless of Willy and Happy's wishes to live the Happy-go-lucky kind of life, full of wishful thinking and dreams that will never come true, still manages to admit that he never really was important, and probably never will be. I think that's a very big thing for him to do, really.
It definitely got me thinking.