Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 320
Arthur Miller's The Price, first produced in 1968, is a play in which the author portrays the selling of the estate of a man who is survived by his two sons, Victor and Walter Franz. On stage are the two brothers, Victor's wife (Esther), and the furniture salesman who plans the buy the estate (Gregory Solomon). Walter suspected his father, who had been wealthy but (allegedly) lost much of his fortune in the depression, of hiding money from his family. Victor forewent his education because his father couldn't pay for it, and he is now a police officer. Walter is a financially (if not emotionally) successful surgeon who paid for his own education.
In the play's first act, Esther (Victor's wife) states, "Maybe it's that it always used to seem so pretentious to me, and kind of bourgeois. But it does have a certain character. I think some of it's in style again. It's surprising." She then comments on a chest, which she calls "lovely." Her husband, Victor, replies, "That was mine. The one over there was Walter's. They're a pair."
This quote demonstrates what the play will conclude by addressing: Victor and Walter, while very different in their lives, are from the same source and family.
Esther is a bit of a social climber, and she feels that her husband was wronged by his father. Elsewhere in the play, she declares, "We go out so rarely—why must everybody know your salary? I want an evening! I want to sit down in a restaurant without some drunken ex-cop coming over to the table to talk about old times!"
This quote demonstrates that Esther is unsatisfied by her husband. Walter (Esther's brother-in-law, who arrives to the estate later) agrees that Victor was unjustly treated by his father financially and so, out of a sense of fraternal love, ends up offering him a job in the hospital where he is a surgeon.
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