Arthur Miller’s plays are usually associated with real life issues filled with failure and disappointment. Death of a Salesman written in 1949 is no exception. The author’s main character, Willy Loman, is a traveling salesman who spends his whole life time trying to find success based on looks and popularity. His brother Ben is a millionaire who owns diamond mines in Africa. Ben offers Willy the chance of a lifetime, but Willy is so stubborn that he declines the offer. After working hard for his whole life, Willy wakes up to realize that he is a failure.
On top of all of this, both of his son’s despise him. His wife is very loving towards him but he does not take time to appreciate it. Because he is a failure, Willy starts to go a little crazy. It is a classic case of trying to chase the inevitable, “American Dream. ” This is something that turns out to be a nightmare for Willy. The author even creates a pun on Willy’s name to let the reader know the direction that the play is going. Willy Loman obviously stands for “Low Man. ” During the whole play there are vivid flashbacks of Willy in his prime.
He starts out making a salary of $170 per week, he buys a nice home in the suburbs, and has two son’s. Life was grand at that time. But by the end, Willy dies working on commission. The neighborhood that was so nice when he first moved there has been surrounded by modern buildings. The sight of his house sandwiched between all those newer and better houses shows how much Willy stayed dwelled in the past. Throughout the whole play Willy’s dialogue is usually about what “used to be. ” Willy is like a caveman in modern times. All the people he knew are eihter dead or have moved on.