Streetcar and Death of a Salesman

Question: “ Modern Literature asks questions instead of providing answers”

Tennessee Williams along with Arthur Miller are considered two of the greatest American playwrights since World War II, their tragedies A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman are assed as Modern American Literature. Both authors provide messages in order to help the reader understand the plays thoroughly but they do not offer answers to the questions asked.   To a certain extent A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman face the same difficulty: they are unable to provide answers.

The protagonists Willy Loman and Blanche Dubois are assed with a tragic flaw : hubris that slowly destroys them socially and physically. Blanche Dubois’s vanity is exposed in the first scene of the play when she arrives at her sister’s house and questions her about her appearance “ You haven’t said a word about my appearance”. This remarks shows how Blanche is consumed by her looks and is unable to accept the passage of time and how much she has aged. Blanche is trapped in her own illusions and fails to grasp reality, for example when she lies about her unexpected visit in New Orleans and pretends she took a leave of absence.
Willy Loman   is also consumed by his vanity and his illusions opining that he is an important asset to his company, “ I’m the New England man, I’m vital in New England.” This statement exposes the misbelieves that Willy has of himself; in reality he is not vital in New England and fails to recognize it. The protagonist’s false aspirations enable his son Happy to make the mistakes as he did, for example Willy commits adultery and so does Happy with married women.
The questions are in this case: To what extent are the characters victims of their flaws? Does Willy die because he is too conceited to face reality? And does Blanche never rehabilitate the present because she is trapped within her illusions? In fact the reader must discern for himself what ultimately destroys...