“Death of a Salesman,” “Fences” & Realism

Both Death of a Salesman and Fences are classified as Realist Plays (that is, a play that follows the genre conventions of Realism). Despite this, there are a number of moments in each play when Realism is abandoned (think of the dreamlike “mobile concurrences” in Death of a Salesman or the ending of Fences when the gates of heaven open).

Think about how Realism was abandoned in BOTH Death of a Salesman and Fences: why would the authors depart from Realism in this way? What does the playwright’s departures from Realism tell us about the theme of the play?

Sample Solution