Postcolonial Cinematic Adaptation, Mimicry, or Indigenization? Miller’s Death of a Salesman in Farhadi’s Salesman

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Master of English Language and Literature, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Associate Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

3 Professor, Department of Comparative English Literature, University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract

Various adaptations are found in the history of Iranian cinema. The connection between Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman (2016) and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1949) was reviewed disparagingly and appraisingly in Iran and the West. Finding the cause of the tension between these contradictory discourses is the main purpose of this paper. With a post-colonial approach, especially with regard to Homi Bhabha’s (1949- ) views, we scrutinize The Salesman to clarify the relationship between the West and the East in Iranian cinema. It is revealed that Farhadi’s adaptation is a mimicry of Miller’s Death of a Salesman; with a close comparative analysis of the text of the play and Farhadi’s film, it is concluded that The Salesman is not merely a Bhabhaian mimicry of an American play but a third space that floats between the concepts of indigenization and mimicry. The interweavement of Western and Iranian cultural and social elements in this film creates a work that is tangible for both the Iranian and the Western audience.

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