Looking at the opening stage and setting directions in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman", what social commentary is Miller appearing to make in this description?
There are a number of important directions in the opening stage, but three stand out;
1. The flute overture:
It is small and fine, tell-ing of grass and trees and the horizon.
2. The color and scenery contrast of the quaint, sunshine-y home against the looming, somber cityscape:
Before us is the Salesman’s house. We are aware of towering, angular shapes behind it, surrounding it on all sides. Only theblue light of the sky falls upon the house and forestage; the surrounding area shows an angry glow of orange.
3. The "transparency" of the home:
The entire setting is wholly or, in some places, partially transparent. The roof-line of the house is one-dimensional; under andover it we see the apartment buildings.
- The scene is meant to be idyllic, but illusory; this is not "reality" but a microcosmic fantasy.
- The "reality" outside the home is pervasive and cannot be ignored, even inside the home, since it is always visible
- The outside world has "intruded" upon the idyllic home; in fact it may be unclear if the home is a foolish anachronism built among the "angry" modern world, or if the modern world was built around the idyllic home, its looming presence threatening to crush this last element of resistance.