Friday, April 25, 2008

Was Willy Loman Frum?

Was Willy Loman, the main character in Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman, an observant Jew? No, but recent interpretations suggest that other characters in the play were. From the Forward (link):

Arena [Stage in Virginia] creates a gulf between the two families. “We speculated that Willy might be Jewish but is not a practicing [Jew]. But Charley and his family are,” said Mark Bly, senior dramaturg at Arena... Bernard and Charley wearing yarmulkes “shows their observance of their religion in contrast to Willy’s assimilation,” Bond said. “In the mid-20th century, part of the American Dream was losing one’s ethnicity and religion to become just American. Through Bernard and Charley, I wanted to show that they are American because of their cultural and religious identity.”

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