The play “Death of a Salesman”

In the play “Death of a Salesman”, the main character, Willy Loman is not respected and becomes very troubled. Biff Loman and Willy never get along. Biff does not respect Willy and calls him a fake. Biff knows that Willy has been unfaithful to his wife. Biff catches Willy in a hotel room with another woman. This causes Biff to lose even more respect for Willy. Willy lies to his wife about his income when he is really borrowing money from his brother Charley to pay his bills. This causes Charley to lose respect for his own brother. The people that Willy works with, including his boss (Howard) do not respect Willy.

Willy comes to Howard to ask for a job where he does not have to travel as much, but Howard does not take Willy seriously and tells him that he has to see other people and then leaves. This shows a great lack of respect towards Willy. Many people, important in Willy’s life, do not respect him. Willy does not accept responsibility for being treated with disrespect. Willy has a poor work ethic which causes him to lose his job. He tries to escape reality by being unfaithful. His method of dealing with his problems brings on more problems. Therefore he becomes very frustrated and troubled.

Analysis of the Ending of “Death of a Salesman”

The play “Death of a Salesman” shows the final demise of Willy Loman, a sixty- year-old salesman in the America of the 1940’s, who has deluded himself all his life about being a big success in the business world. It also portrays his wife Linda, who “plays along” nicely with his lies and tells him what he wants to hear, out of compassion. The book describes the last day of his life, but there are frequent “flashbacks” in which Willy relives key events of the past, often confusing them with what is happening in the present. His two sons, Biff and

Happy, who are in their 30’s, have become failures like himself. Both of them have gone from idolizing their father in their youth to despising him in the present. On the last few pages of the play, Willy finally decides to take his own life ([1] and [2]). Not only out of desperation because he just lost his job, with which he was hardly earning enough to pay ordinary expenses at the end. He does it primarily because he thinks that the life insurance payout [3] will allow Biff to come to something [4], so that at least one of the Lomans will fulfill is unrealistic dream of great wealth and success.

But even here in one of his last moments, while having a conversation with a ghost from the past, he continues to lie to himself by saying that his funeral will be a big event [2], and that there will be guests from all over his former working territory in attendance. Yet as was to be expected, this is not what happens, none of the people he sold to come. Although perhaps this wrong foretelling could be attributed to senility, rather than his typical self-deception [5]. Maybe he as forgotten that the “old buyers” have already died of old age.

His imagined dialogue partner tells him that Biff will consider the impending act one of cowardice. This obviously indicates that he himself also thinks that it’s very probable that Biff will hate him even more for doing it, as the presence of “Ben”, a man whom he greatly admires for being a successful businessman, is a product of his own mind. But he ignores this knowledge which he carries in himself, and goes on with his plan.

After this scene, Biff, who has decided to totally sever the ties with his arents, has an “abprupt conversation” (p. 9) with Willy. Linda and Biff are in attendance. He doesn’t want to leave with another fight, he wants to make peace with his father [6] and tell him goodbye in a friendly manner. He has realized, that all his life, he has tried to become something that he doesn’t really want to be, and that becoming this something (a prosperous businessman) was a (for him) unreachable goal which was only put into his mind by his father (p. 105). He doesn’t want a desk, but the exact opposite: To work outside, in the open air, with his hands.

But he’s willing to forgive [6] Willy for making this grave mistake while Biff was in his youth. He simply wants to end their relationship in a dignified way. Willy is very angered by this plan of Biff’s [7], because it means that he is definitely not going to take the 20000 dollars and make a fortune out of it. Happy, who has become very much like his father, self-deceiving and never facing reality, is shocked by what Biff says. He is visibly not used to hearing the naked truth being spoken in his family. He objects by telling another lie, “We always told the truth! (p. 104).

This only serves to enrage Biff further, after Willy has already denied shaking his hand, which would have been a gesture of great symbolic meaning. For Willy, it would have meant admitting to everybody that he was wrong, and it would show acceptance of his son’s true nature. But Willy goes on to say that Biff is doing all of this out of spite, and not because it is what he really wants. Spite, because the teenage Biff had once caught him cheating on Linda, and that was the turning point from being admired, to being hated by Biff.

So now, instead of generously forgiving, Biff becomes just as angry and ggresive. They almost get into a physical fight, but he suddenly lapses intro utter sadness and desperation, and cries, holding on to Willy. Afer he has left, Willy is deeply moved, because he realizes that Biff actually liked him. But even this realisation does not make him understand Biff, and he proclaims again that Biff “will be magnificent! ” (p. 106). And his mental voice, in the form of Ben, adds that this will certainly be the case, especially “with twenty thousand behind him”.

He is freshly motivated to proceed with his old plan by is gross misinterpretation of Biff’s startling behaviour. He is simply unable to realize, that money is not what Biff wants or needs. Although he does realize, that Biff, despite everything, loves him, and perhaps this is to him another incentive to give him the money. At the funeral, Happy is unchanged, his old self. He says that “[they] would’ve helped him” (p. 110), even though he himself had been extremely cruel to Willy by abandoning him at a restaurant just before the big quarrel, and certainly this wasn’t the only incident where he had shown no regard at all for Willy.

Happy has obviously not learned a thing from the entire tragedy, which is why Biff gives him a “hopeless” glance near the end of the Requiem. Biff speaks of the “nice days” that they had had together, which all involve handyman’s work Willy had done on the day. Charley adds to this that “he was a happy man with a batch of cement” (p. 110). This adds a new dimension to the tragedy, because it all indicates that Willy was, just like Biff, a man who enjoys physical work. If this was the case, then Willy could simply never admit to himself, like Biff finally did, that he WASN’T going to make big money.

Linda voices her regret over not being able to cry, alone at Willy’s grave. An explanation of this would be, that she simply cannot understand and forgive him these last acts. First, the not letting Biff go, and then committing suicide, despite the fact that Biff had made his intentions so clear. Also, she might interpret into his self-inflicted death, which leaves her behind alone, that he did not love her. This conclusion of the tragedy fits the rest of the play well. The dramatic character development is quite unpredictable, neither are the specific events, which makes it a compelling read.

The play, Death of a Salesman

In the play, Death of a Salesman, the main character, Willy Loman’s tragedy is due to both his own flawed character and society’s flaws. Advancements in science throughout this century have led to tremendous advancements in industry. In this case however, advancements in industry have not always led to advancements in living conditions. For some, society has created mass wealth. For Willy Loman, however, mass society has created only tremendous grief and hardship, based on endless promise. For these reasons, his tragedy is due both to societies flaws and to the flaws in his own character.

It was society who stripped him of his dignity, piece by piece. It was society who stripped him of his lifestyle, and his own sons who stripped him of hope. The most obvious flaw in society is greed. This is the desire to get ahead of the next guy. It is the philosophy of businesses that compromise the dreams of many men. Though sometimes this can drive a man to great things, sometimes it can drive a man to ruin. Willy Loman was a simple man driven to ruin by greed. However, this was not by his own greed, but by that of others.

The developers’ greed took away the sun and left him with only shadows. Willy’s boss reduced him to commission and even his sons reduced him to a failure. All of this greed around him led him to ruin. The next largest flaw in society is a lack of compassion. This could be as a result of overwhelming greed. The main culprit or cause of this flaw is big business. “I’m always in a race with the junkyard! I just finished paying for the car and it’s on it last legs. The refrigerator consumes belts like a goddam maniac. They time those things. Act 2, Page __, lines 16-19)

It was Willy’s belief in this statement that drew him to believe that big business lacked compassion. It is this flaw that allowed him to die a slow death and which played the greatest role in his eventual downfall. The third and largest flaw in society is the lack of a social net. This would be a net which would identify people in trouble and attempt to improve their situation. It would identify people who are a danger to themselves or to others and treat them. If such a net had existed, Willy Loman might now have met his premature end.

Instead, he could have received psychiatric help and recovered from his condition. It was the direct result of the flaws on society, which led to Will Loman’s death. It was the greed that was so predominant around him that led to his unhappiness. It was the lack of compassion from society, which allowed his unhappiness to flourish, and which eventually consumed him. In the end, it was the lack of a social safety net, which failed to save him from himself. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later.

The way in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as problem to get it out of the way. Willy Lowman’s technique in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, leads to very severe consequences. Willy never really does anything to help the situation, he just escapes into the past, whether intentionally or not, to happier times were problems were scarce. The use of this escape throughout the play can be compared to the use of a drug, because he uses his escapes as if they were narcotics. As the play progressed, the reader learns that it can be a dangerous drug, because it is addictive and deadly.

The first time that Willy is seen lapsing off into the past is when he encounters Biff after arriving home. The conversation between Willy and Linda reflects Willy’s disappointment in Biff and what he ahs become, which is, for the most, part a bum. After failing to deal adequately with his feelings, he escapes into a time when things were better for his family. It is not uncommon for one to think of better times at low points in their life in order to cheer themselves up so that they are able to deal with the problems that they encounter, but Willy Lowman takes it one step further.

His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind he is transported back in time to relive one of the happier days of his life. It was a time when no one argued, Willy and Linda were younger, the financial situation was less of a burden and Biff and Happy enthusiastically welcomed their father back home from a long road trip. Willy’s need for the “drug” is satisfied and he is reassured that everything will turn out okay, and the family will soon be as happy as it was in the good old days.

The next flashback occurs during a discussion between Willy and Linda. Willy is depressed about his inability to make enough money to support his family, his looks, his personality, and the success of his friend and neighbor, charley. “My God if business doesn’t pick up, I don’t know what I’m gonna do! ” is the comment made by Willy after Linda figures out the difference between the family’s income and their expences. Before Linda has a chance to offer any words of consolation, Willy blurts out, “I’m fat. I’m veryfoolish to look at, Linda.

In doing this he has depressed himself so much that he is visited by a woman with whom he is having an affair. The woman’s purpose in this point of the play is to cheer him up. She raises his spirts by telling him how funny and lovable he is, saying, “You do make me laughAnd I think you’re a wonderful man. ” And when he is reassured of his attractiveness and competence, the woman disappears, her purpose being fulfilled. Once again the drug has come to the rescue, allowing Willy to postpone having to actually do something about his problem.

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Loving a person too much can often be deceiving. Failing to act upon the truth in order to protect an individual’s pride and emotions can bring about destruction for the American Dream. Lois Gordon’s quote about Linda is a good example of the disillusionment that many people experience when loving someone too much, when he says, “Linda, as the eternal wife and mother, the fixed point of affection both given and received, is, in many ways, the earth mother who embodies the play’s ultimate moral value–love.

But in the beautiful, ironic complexity of her creation, she is also Willy’s destroyer. ” In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman Linda continually suffers from Willy’s frustrations. Even so, she manages to be the loving woman who attempts to keep her family happy However, by covering up failures and protecting pride, Linda ironically ends up being the cause of Willy’s destruction. Throughout the play, Linda suffers a great deal of stress from Willy’s feelings of disappointment. Willy’s impractical dreams have turned into a lifetime of frustrations.

Disappointed and worried, Willy sometimes treats Linda cruelly or insensitively, but she understands the pain and fear behind his behavior, and forgives him in those moments. Willy is rude to Linda when he says, (page 65) “Will you let me talk? Don’t take his side all the time, goddammit! ” When Biff responds to Willy’s discourteousness by furiously yelling at him, Linda sympathetically says, (page 65)“What’d you have to start that for? You see how sweet he was as soon as you talked hopefully? Come up and say good night to him. Don’t let him go to bed that way.

Even though Willy treats Linda sternly, she cares for him so much that she forgives and excuses his actions. Miller tells us, “she more than loves him, she admires him. ” A man with as delicate a sense of self-worth as Willy cannot tolerate his wife’s discordance with him, so Linda has adjusted herself to ignore her own opinions in favor of her husband. Linda also suffers in the way that her sons do not give enough respect to Willy. She feels that Willy deserves at least the respect of his sons when she says, (page 56) “Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.

She is a good and understanding mother, but will not tolerate her sons disrespecting her beloved husband. After Linda finds out that Biff and Happy abandon their father in a restaurant for dates with women they’ve picked up, she loses control of her emotions and attacks both of them by shouting out, (page 124) “There’s no stranger you’d do that to! I don’t want you tormenting him anymore. You’re a pair of animals! Not one, not another living soul would have the cruelty to walk out on that man in a restaurant!

Accordingly, Linda is pushed to the brink of anxiety, as she tries ever so hard to keep her husband happy. Even though Linda suffers through an emotional rollercoaster, she still assumes the role as the loving wife and symbolizes the values of love and devotion to the Loman family. “You’re my foundation and my support” (page 18) Willy tells Linda. Even then Willy understands Linda’s devotion to him. She is the model of a loving, devoted, and patient wife. Linda has always supported Willy in his illusions about himself and his achievements.

Willy’s lapses turn Linda into an even sweeter and more amiable woman. Linda is also responsible to keep a clear picture of their finances. When Willy and Linda are talking about how much money Willy earned, she says, (page 35) “Two hundred-my God! Two hundred and twelve dollars! ” A few moments later after Willy slowly explains how much he really made, Linda says, “Well, it makes seventy dollars and some pennies. That’s very good. ” When Willy boasts of big sales, Linda gently questions until she learns the truth, never showing any disapproval of him for exaggerating.

She does the best she can with their meager income to pay their endless bills. Linda is Willy’s comfort and support. She believes in him completely, even in his fantasy of himself. In some respects, Linda has made a child of her husband, always indulgent and devoted to him. In this way, Linda is truly Willy’s guide, moral support, and comforter. Linda avoids the truth with Willy by protecting and defending his pride and self-respect. By doing so, she is destroying all hopes of him becoming successful. She does this by constant reassuring, which leads to high and unrealistic hopes.

This is evident when Linda says, (page 37) “But you’re doing wonderful dear. You’re making seventy to a hundred dollars a week. ” Linda is only saying this because she does not want to destroy Willy’s spirit. She is reassuring him that he is doing great and that he is making enough money. In actuality, this is not the case because Willy is about 50 dollars short of paying the month’s bills. By reassuring Willy, Linda is giving him a false sense of pride. To a certain extent, Willy believes he is better than he really is because of Linda.

Linda’s defense and protection indirectly leads to her husband’s downfall. When Willy goes to Howard to ask for a job, Willy thinks he is better than he really is when he says, (page 82) “I put thirty-four years into this firm, Howard…. and in 1928 I had a big year. I averaged a hundred and seventy dollars a week in commissions. ” If Willy knew the truth that he was not good enough to make it in the business, he would not have taken the rejection so seriously. This false sense of reality leads to Willy’s epression and confusion on whether or not life is worth living anymore.

When Ben comes and offers Willy a far-away job (page 85), Linda boycotts it, saying he ought to be satisfied with his wonderful position at home. Willy needed Linda’s unconditional approval, but ironically it may have prevented the one chance he had to escape to a more suitable way of life. From beginning to end, Linda is the true care giver for the Loman family. However, Linda fails to realize that it’s not how much love is given; it is how love is given that is important. She uses her love as a protective barrier, in an effort to defend her family from the harsh reality.

But in the inspiring, paradoxical intricacy of her character, she ends up being the source of Willy’s downfall. There is a lesson to be learned from Linda Loman: hiding the truth is not the proper way to love, for it does more bad than good. Even though the truth may hurt at that point in time, later on it will be realized hat the truth only helps benefit growth and development. The truth ultimately aids in restoring hopes and dreams. When people are able to grasp this concept of love, the American Dream will be feasible to anyone.

Death Of A Salesman Paper

Well anywise Willy Loman was played by Dustin Hoffman and well he did a great job portraying his charter. And he did very well. The move well little slow to the start but after it introduced all the charts and the things starting falling in place then that is when everything came clear. But I really feel sorry for Willy but in the same persificted I am pissed off at him, but he is cheating in his wife and well in my mind I dont think that is a good idea.

But his sons take most of he flak cus he makes them out to something they are not. See in my mind Willy is a dreamer and well he wishes that he and his family could always live the good live but in fact they cant. He lives in the burbs and well he is also in a dead end job, that will never take him or his family any where. His family consisted of his loving wife Linda, she was the back bone of the family she kept everything in live and going in the right direction for Willy and his sons.

Then there was Happy, he was the player and tycoon and always looking for recognition from his father, but never really got it. Because there was Biff his pride and joy he thought the world revolved around him. Then there was Charlie Willy only true friend ever thought they would fight on a regular basic that still were friend and Charlie ever help Willy out with a little side cash just to keep things running at home.

The characters of Death of a Salesman

In this paper I’m going to focus on the themes, and also do an analysis of the main characters in the book. I’m going to focus on the theme of the concept of illusion and reality and the nature of the characters and their impact and contribution to the play. The main theme in Death of a Salesman is illusion versus reality. Willy has lived his entire life in a world of illusions. These illusions include Willy’s belief that being well-liked is the key to success, as well as the literal illusions that Willy has of his past.

Originally, Biff shared Willy’s illusions of success and greatness, but by the end of the play he has become completely disillusioned. Once Biff comes to fully understand his place in life, he says to Willy, “I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you. ” Willy, however, has lived too long in his dreams and cannot understand what Biff is trying to say. If Willy had to face reality, he would then be forced to examine the affair he had in Boston, his philosophy, and all of his illusions. Instead, he prefers to live in the past.

And now Biff, who is trying to confront the truth about himself, finds that he is completely unable to commuicate with his father. Another theme of Death of a Salesman is the old order of agrarian pride and nobility versus the new order of industrialization. In the beginning of the play, Willy foreshadows this theme by criticizing the changes brought about by industrialization. “The street is lined with cars. There’s not a breath of fresh air in the neighborhood. ” It is this conflict between the old and new orders that brings about Willy’s downfall.

Willy’s father, a pioneer inventor, represents the traditional values and way of life that Willy was brought up on. So does Dave Singleman, the eigthy-four year old salesman that inspired Willy to go into the sales industry. Howard, the young boss of Willy’s company, represents the impersonal and ruthless nature of capitalistic enterprise. When Willy goes in to ask Howard if he can be transferred to a job in New York, Howard refuses to help him even though Willy has been working for the company for several decades and was good friends with his father.

When Willy asks why he cannot be reassigned, Howard replies, “Sit’s a business, kid, and everybody’s gotta pull his own weight,” thus demonstrating Howard’s cold indifference to Willy’s situation. The main conflict in Death of a Salesman deals with the confusion and frustration of Willy Lowman. These feelings are caused by his inability to face the realities of modern society. Willy’s most prominent delusion is that success is dependant upon being well-liked and having personal attractiveness. Willy builds his entire life around this idea and teaches it to his children.

When Willy was young, he had met a man named Dave Singleman who was so well-liked that he was able to make a living simply by staying in his hotel room and telephoning buyers. When Dave Singleman died, buyers and salesmen from all over the country came to his funeral. This is what Willy has been trying to emulate his entire life. Willy’s need to feel well-liked is so strong that he often makes up lies about his popularity and success. At times, Willy even believes these lies himself. At one point in the play, Willy tells his family of how well-liked he is in all of his towns and how vital he is to New England.

Later, however, he tells Linda that no one remembers him and that the people laugh at him behind his back. As this demonstrates, Willy’s need to feel well-liked also causes him to become intensely paranoid. When his son, Biff, for example, is trying to explain why he cannot become successful, Willy believes that Biff is just trying to spite him. Unfortunately, Willy never realizes that his values are flawed. As Biff points out at the end of the play, “he had the wrong dreams. ” In many ways Biff is similar to his father. In the beginning of the play we see that Biff shares many of the same ideas as Willy.

He values being well-liked above everything else and sees little value in being smart or honest. One of Biff’s main flaws is his tendency to steal. Early in the play we learn that he has stolen a football from the school locker. When Willy finds out about this, instead of disciplining Biff, he says that the coach will probably congratulate him on his initiative. We also learn that Biff once stole a box of basketballs from Bill Oliver. This foreshadows the scene in which Biff steals Bill Oliver’s fountain pen after trying to get a loan for his sporting goods business.

The climactic scene in Biff’s life comes when he finds a woman in Willy’s hotel room. This causes Biff to realize that Willy is a fake. Biff’s tragedy is that he has accepted Willy’s values all his life, and now that he finds out they are false, he has no values of his own to rely upon. Thus, Biff becomes lost and must set out to find his own values. Once Biff begins to develop his own beliefs, his opinions about his father change. Instead of viewing his father as a fake, Biff comes to realize that his father had some good qualities, but was simply misguided by inadequate values.

Happy is the younger of the two Lowman brothers and thus is often overshadowed by Biff. Because of this, Happy is constantly trying to get attention from Willy. In one of the flashbacks Happy continually says, “I’m losing weight, you notice, Pop? ” This is an attempt by Happy to get recognition from Willy. When in the present, Happy tries to get recognition by announcing that he is getting married. In both instances, however, Happy’s remarks are dismissed as unimportant. Thus it is no surprise when Happy leaves Willy alone in the restaurant.

It is merely in retaliation for his own rejection. Another characteristic of Happy is his refusal to recognize reality. When Biff, Happy, and Willy are in the restaurant, Happy tries to prevent Willy from learning that Biff did not get the loan. While Biff is trying to explain that he never actually worked as a salesman for Oliver, Happy is continually reassuring Willy that the interview went well. Another example occurs at the end of the play when Happy insists that Willy “did not die in vain. He had a good dream. “

Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman

In Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman, [the protagonist] Willy Lomans inability to live in and cope with the present ultimately destroys him. The are several constant themes and ideas throughout the play which show this. Willys inability to be successful according to his own standards is most problematical for him. The troublesome relationship between Willy and his family also leads to a great deal of stress. And the constants flashbacks and disillusions Willy goes through to deal with these problems bring him further from reality and destroy him. The fact that Willy cannot be successful is perhaps his biggest problem.

In escaping this reality he ultimately destroys himself. Willy says, I did 500 gross in Providence and 700 gross in Boston. No! Wait a minute… that makes your commission $212! , replies Linda Well I didnt figure it yet but… well I did about a hundred and eighty gross in Providence, answers Willy (11). To cover up for his lack of success at work, Willy lies about how he does. He tries to make himself seem successful when in reality he needs to find a solution to his problems. He tries to bargain with his boss to get a steady paying job because he cannot live on the commission he is making.

If I could take home – well $65 a week, I could swing it… All I need is $50 a week… If I had $40 a week – thats all I need, Willy begs his boss (24). His lack of success causes him to keep bargaining and will lead him to settle at just about anything. However the attempt to get a regular paying job turns out nothing short of failure. Failures such as this lead to Willys being fired. I dont want you to represent us, Ive been meaning to tell you for a long time now, says Howard (26). This obviously destroys his work life. These mounting problems of being unsuccessful at work build up leading to him ultimately being fired.

There are several ways in which Willy avoids his problems. First, rather then deal with such situations Willy is stubborn and assumes things will take care of themselves. He uses this attitude when his long time friend Charley offers him a job. Charley says, I offered you a job. You can make $50 a week, and I wont send you on the road. Ive got a job,(30). Willys stubbornness wont let him deal with reality, causing him to turn down an offer to fix a major problem. He denies his problems rather then taking the needed help when it is offered.

He also often times escapes into his dreams for the future as opposed to dealing with the situation at hand. Oh I will knock them dead in Hartford. Im very well liked in Hartford, (12). He also uses his success from years ago in his glory days as way out of reality instead of repeating the success again. -In 1928 I had a big year… In 1928 I averaged $170 a week. And your father came to me and put his hand on my shoulder-, Willy tells Howard Wagner (25). This comment about Howards father implies a past promise made to Willy. He tries to use this past promise [from a dead man] to get rid of his problems.

Not only do Willys dreams offer an escape from reality; they are a cause of more problems. No its me. Suddenly I realize Im going 60 miles an hour and I dont remember the last 5 minutes. Im – I cant seem to keep my mind on it, (2). While he is on the road Willy is again not in touch with reality which even he notices. No, the windshields dont open on the new cars, says Willy. Linda replies, But you opened it today. Me? Now isnt that peculiar… I coulda sworn I was driving that Chevy today, (6). Willy cant focus while he is traveling for work which obviously impairs his ability to succeed [being that his job is based on his traveling] .

This problem again leads to his ultimate and total failure with his job. The other major cause of Willys destructional problems comes from his family. First the deviation of his son Biff from his (Willys) expectations hurts Willy. To make up for these problems, as in Willys own case, Willy hallucinates of past glory. Like a young god. Hercules – something like that and the sun, the sun all around him. Remember how he waved to me? Right up from the field with the representatives of three colleges standing by, (23). To escape dealing with Biffs current failures Willy remembers how it was in the past, when everyone was successful and happy.

However now trouble is present for Biff. He cant hold a job. To cover up current problems Willy exaggerates the truth. Well, Bill Oliver – very big sporting goods man – he wants Biff very badly, called him in from the West, Willy tells his nephew Bernard about Biffs interview (29). This is clearly an exaggerated stretch of the truth. When Biff attempts to go on an interview from Willys advise with an old acquaintance, failure is eminent. Didnt even remember who I was or anything. I feel like such an idiot Hap, Biff says (31). Thus Willys expectations for Biff are destroyed by such failure.

As he does for himself, Willy makes excuses up for Biff. Ill get him a job selling. He could be big in no time. My God! Remember how they used to follow him around in high school? (5). Willy couldnt keep his own job much less get one for Biff. And again Willy draws from the past in a wasteful aim to solve the present. Biffs failures causes Willy to escape reality again, destroying his goals for his son. Willys family life at home is destroyed during the play because of constant family bickering and fighting. Biff was aware of Willys problems and gets easily frustrated at his fathers attempts to escape them.

Biff exclaims, I dont care what they think. They have laughed at dad for years and you know why? Because we dont belong in this nut house of a city. We should be mixing cement or, or carpenters-. Even your grandfather was better then a carpenter. You never grew up!. (22). Again Willy makes excuses and this time argues to avoid dealing with the reality of his problematical situation. Perhaps the most significant cause for the trouble between Biff and Willy at the end was about Biffs interview with Bill Oliver. Theres no necessity to mention the pen at all you know. Dad, Ive got no appointment, (36).

In this case Biff is trying to make his father realize that the whole idea of Biff getting a job from Mr. Oliver was a far cry from the truth. But despite that Willy, looks into the past seeing it as he wishes it was; hoping he could bring it into the present. Perhaps the final blow to the father- son relationship was when Biff brought the rubber hose to Willys attention. What is that? questioned Willy. You know goddamn well what that is, answered Biff. I have never seen that before! (37). Biff realizes after Linda showed him [the hose], that Willy is ready to break.

And of course when he approaches his father, he (Willy) flat out denies it. These constant arguments destroy Willys relationship with his son. With his life at work crushed, the destruction is being completed with the ruining of his family relationship at home. But we were supposed to have dinner together, (34). This sums up best the mangled relationship after Willys boys leave him at dinner. Linda also provides for some of Willys destruction. She does not hurt Willy by killing and realizing the failure of his dream like Biff, but rather by supporting it. Despite his failure and cover ups Linda always backs Willy up and supports him.

It may be the nice thing to do, but in reality it hurts him. It hurts him because it keeps him away from the truth and shows him that it is okay to stay away from the truth. But you didnt rest your mind dear. Your mind is overactive and your mind is what counts, (3). Linda offers Willy an excuse for his failure to concentrate while driving. She isnt criticizing him but rather making excuses for him. Theres nothing to make up dear. Youre doing fine, better the them, (4). Linda again excuses Willys poor performance at work, not facing him with the reality of the problem.

She lets him get away with failure but tries to help him by comforting him. However this comforting shows him it is okay to make these mistakes. Unfortunately these mistakes snowball and when they are realized it is too late. These problems destroy Willy, yet if he could handle them he may not have been destroyed. He instead lived in disillusion. He remembered the past; sometimes editing it to make it seem better then it was. He often spoke of how he should have and could have done this or that. He often believed in the same dreams that he had in the past but failed to see through.

He did these things so much he forget if he was living in the past or present. These escapes from reality made him unable to deal with the matter at hand which destroyed him. Tell you a secret boys… Someday I will have my own business, and Ill never have to leave home, (9). This was one of Willys goals in the past, yet it was never fulfilled. Rather then accomplishing it he kept going into the past and remembering the dream. Dont get your sweater dirty Biff, (8). This is Willy talking to Biff as a child. Here he lives in the days when things were going good to escape from the problems of the current time.

Often Willy would recall his brother Ben. Ben found success at a young age, yet also died at a young age. He often offered help to Willy years ago. Now when Willy would hallucinate he would often talk to his dead brother. He idolized his brothers success and talked to Ben as if he was still around asking him for help. Ben, Ive got to talk to you. Havent the time William. Ben, nothings working out. I dont know what to do,. (27). Willy didnt know what to do when he realized the truth of his problems, so he sought his dead brother for answers. Ben could not help, so Willy took it into his own hands.

When Willy realized the mess of a life he had, he wanted to end it, yet go out with a bang. For Willy this of course involves money. Whats the proposition? asked Ben $70,000 on the barrelhead, guaranteed, (35). This money was what Willy figured his family would get from the insurance company when he died. Since Willy couldnt get the money, he would rather die and have his family be successful afterwards. Time Willy, time… The boat we will be late, calls Ben. Now when you kick off boy, I want a seventy yard boot, and get right down the field under the ball… cause it is important son… (To Ben), Ben, Where do I?… How do I? (38). This is Willy as he leaves his home for the final time.

He has a final hallucination with Ben and Biff. Then he realizes he is alone, but it is too late. The reality is finally realized yet Willy cannot handle it because he has avoided handling it for so long. The pile of unsolved problems is too much and Willy is destroyed. There are many troubling issues Willy faces throughout the play. His lack of success and work and his troubled family relationships hurt him. They destroy him literally.

Rather then dealing with these issues he escapes into disillusionment, which proves costly to him. The constant flashbacks to his glory days and his dreams of being successful lead to his inability to settle his present problems. By the time that reality kicks in, it is too late for Willy to deal with it and instead he takes his life because his life is too far gone to fix. And even if it is possible, years of living back and forth in and out of reality have made him unable to know how to fix his life. The inability to accept the present has destroyed Willy Loman.

The play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

In the play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Linda Loman’s character is viewed differently by many people. Some critics have seen Linda as a “controlling mother figure” who is actually the one to blame for this failure of both her sons and her husband. In this report I will defend this view citing specific examples from the play. Linda was undoubtedly the only one in control throughout the play. I believe that Linda tried to be a good mother and wife but she did not really know what she was doing. At the very beginning of the book we see that Willy, on his way to Boston, has come home because he was unable to concentrate on the road.

And just as he was beginning to figure out why, she took his mind off the subject by suggesting that the problem was with the car’s steering and not with him. “Oh. Maybe it’s the steering again. I don’t think Angelo knows the Studebaker. “. And again: “Maybe it’s your glasses. You never went for your new glasses. “. By repeatedly doing this throughout the play Linda keeps Willy from facing the truth about himself. Also Linda gives Willy undeserved compliments, agreeing with him on his looks and ambition. ; meanwhile, he has no true ambition.

This causes Willy to build himself up into a great man. Another example of this is when Willy goes to see Howard Wagner about getting a job at home or at least close to home. While we realize how unlikely it is that Willy will get his wish, Willy does not realize this and Linda, who I believe is smart enough to realize it, supports Willy in excitement. Willy isn’t the only one that Linda has affected. There is also Biff and Happy. Willy had taught Biff and Happy that if you were handsome, opportunity would come to you.

Now while that doesn’t have anything to do with Linda, she never challenged what Willy taught them; she simply agreed with everything that Willy said. Linda is able to manipulate Willy, by making his ideas seem greater by giving them her full support. An example of this, similar to what happened with Willy and Howard Wagner, is when Biff goes to see Bill Oliver about a job. The two of them have not seen each other in twenty years and when they did know each other Bill Oliver did not know Biff too well. Despite this, Willy thought Bill would recognize Biff and offer him a job on the spot.

Hearing this Linda did not challenge Willy; she actually tried to quietly support him even though I felt she knew Biff would not be successful. During the majority of the play Linda hides her true self and contently agrees with Willy on most subjects. This makes it difficult to figure out what she is really thinking. Toward the end when Biff and Happy come home after leaving Willy at the restaurant, Linda drops her false personality and shows how she really feels. She explodes at her two sons for leaving their father alone at the restaurant during one of his fantasies.

She places all blame on the two of them for Willy becoming the way he is. In actuality, it is Linda’s own fault that Willy has become what he is. She has compounded this by also causing her two sons to turn out the way they did. In this report, I have defended the belief that Linda is a “controlling mother figure” who is actually the one to blame for the failure of her sons and of her husband. In the play Linda listens to what Willy has to say and never stops him even though she knows what he says is wrong. This play is really about how Linda Loman has caused her husband to go insane and corrupted the minds of her children.

Willy Loman: A Man With A Dream

A common idea presented in literature is the issue of the freedom of the individual in opposition to the controlling pressures of society. Willy Loman, the main character in Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, epitomizes this type of person; one who looks to his peers and co-salesman as lesser individuals. Not only was he competitive and overbearing, but Willy Loman sought after an ideal that he could never become: the greatest salesman ever. Determined to make money, Willy became uncontrollable and somewhat insane. Through his dialogue and actions, Willy Loman portrays a character of insecurity, persistence, nd unknown identity.

From the very beginning of his life, Willy Loman experienced problems with his popularity and personality. His last name is a pun on a “low man. ” He is at the bottom of the business world as an unsuccessful salesman. In addition, his theories on life and society prove to be very degrading, not to mention influential to his mind set every day. Willy believes that being well-liked and having a personal attractiveness, together, can bring success, money, and many friends. Ironically, Willy does not have many friends and many people do not like him.

With a beauty nlike others, Willy thinks that doors will open and problems will all disappear. As a salesman, Willy developed many hindrances that caused his mind to deteriorate. His life as a salesman was built on a dream that he witnessed as a child. At an early age, Willy heard of a salesman, Dave Singleman, who could make his living out of a hotel room. Singleman was very successful and when he died, people from all over the country came to his funeral. It was this ideal that Willy Loman sought after. All he ever wanted was fame, popularity, and a few friends.

Unfortunately, when Willy ied, not a single person went to his funeral. His life, one that was spent trying to become another person, namely Dave Singleman, was a waste as no-one even wanted to see him buried. In reflection of his career with the Wagner Company, many other problems arose that forced economic difficulties on him and his family. He was determined to live by ideals that placed him above everyone else. It was with these lies and illusions that Willy’s life began to lose its’ air of reality. He lost his identity, courage, and dignity throughout New England as a salesman.

And as he explained often, “I have friends… They know me up and down New England. ” Realistically, though, Willy was not successful. He did not have friends and people did not like him in New England. “With his self-identity weakened and undermined, Willy lost his grasp of things in general. ” (P. P Sharma, critical analysis) He spent hours on hours dreaming of the past. Thinking of himself and his son Biff who had potential, but did not take advantage of it. Biff was Willy’s inspiration as a father. He had the determination to become a great football player, not to mention make something with his life and the Loman name.

However, Biff flunked math and threw all of his opportunities away. It was with these circumstances that Biff and his father began to separate. Willy always promised his sons prosperity and good-fortune, but he could not give that to him and when he lost Biff, his life became an even larger failure. In other memories and illusions, Willy often replays the moments with his brother, Ben. Specifically, the time when Willy was offered a job in Alaska; the job which would have made him an enormous amount of money haunts Willy every time he tries to sell his Wagner stockings, only to have his ales come up lame.

With low sales and age, Willy decided to ask for a job in New York. And it was at this time that his company decided to stop paying by salary, but solely on commission. And for a man who cannot sell well, the loss of a salary is very detrimental to his well-being. “Although Willy is aware, maybe dimly and imperfectly, that he is not cut out for success in the world of trade and commerce, he nevertheless nurses the dream of getting the better of everybody else. And this leads him into an alienation from himself, obscuring his real identity. ”

Willy’s life would have been more satisfying had he engaged himself in more physical work that would occupy his mind. His life was situated on a dream for success and prosperity. When it never arrived, Willy spent a lot of time, just brainstorming how to make his life what he wanted it to be. Putting his family aside, Willy committed a terrible sin. In Boston, during one of his business trips, Willy cheated on his wife. He met a woman who would be very cheap for an evening, and as a boost of confidence, Willy spent the night with this low-class woman.

Unfortunately, is son Biff, who was surprising his father in Boston, walked in on the two, thus causing a situation that would forever haunt Biff. His thoughts of his father as an influential salesman in New England were all lost. What appeared, instead, was the belief that his father was a loser with no potential to ever support his family. It was at this time that they their lives spread apart. Using that situation as a downfall and the many others that occurred in Willy Loman’s life, it was not surprising when he killed himself. In search of happiness, Willy believed that he could give his family what they wanted if e only left the world.

But, his dreams were wrong, as his family did not even care enough to go to his funeral. He died for things that he had lived for- his sons and illusions of prosperity. Ironically, though, his life was not worth the happiness of his son’s. And his life was definitely not worth the sacrifice that he made for them his entire life. Willy Loman died still unsure of his status in the business world. He wanted success and money, but at the age of sixty-one, he realized that these goals would never be reached. His identity was lost and his presence on earth unknown.

Willy Loman was influenced by society in that he could not overcome the pressures of selling and making money. His life long dream was happiness, but that never came either. The pressures of society killed a man who once had courage and determination. But, as his life moved further, Willy Loman lost his ability to see the world clearly. All his eyes could observe was despair and insecurity. It was through his beliefs that he decided to end his unhappiness, by ending his life. Willy Loman died a lost identity, but one that found himself for a brief period of time; long enough to end his life forever.

Death Of A Salesman – Analysis

Human emotions are something that we seldom find a way to express clearly: from simple hand gestures, to a disgusted face. To understand his novel more thoroughly, Arthur Miller uses the most understandable method of comprehension, music, to express the emotions of the characters in his play, Death of a Salesman. The characters, Willy, Linda, Biff, Happy, and Ben, have a certain style of music and instruments portraying them to show the reader what type of emotional person they are.

The beginning of the play starts with a soft, sweet, flute medley that announces Willys gradual trek home from Yonkers. This slow tune of confusion ends abruptly as Willy comes home and tells of his troubles in Yonkers. This sentimental sound is heard once more during Bens first visit to Willys house. His story of father and his flute-making business sets a warm tone only to be wrecked by Bens action of throwing Biff, a young, curious boy, to the ground, helplessly.

The final performance of this tune is heard at Willys sad funeral, where Linda pays her respects to her well-liked husband. Ending on a sad note, the flute appears in time of odd emotions. In the beginning of the play, a state of confusion is felt. During Bens visit, a state of pride is felt. At the end, a state of loneliness is felt, leading the reader to think if there is an ironic relationship between the flute, representing Willys father, leaving early and Willys sad end.

The play has a sense of joy in it. Willys flashbacks always occur toward the same time where the Lomans were happy. Starting with Biffs football days in high school. The music in those scenes would make anyone feel like they were on top of the world, just like Biff and Willy felt. Then comes Ben. Ben is Willys savior. Always acting like a parental figure, Ben was Willys answer to everything. A pure, fast paced song represented Willys hopes. The emotions involved in this type of music were mainly enthusiasm, confidence, and courage. Biffs example of when he decides to go and see Bill Oliver and ask for a loan to start the sporting goods business is a good example of music interpreting confidence. Another bit of confidence is felt when Willy is going to ask Howard for a stationary job in New York.

The music that sounds troublesome in this play would have to be anything that involved the Woman. The Woman is involved in many conflicts, but mainly between Biff and Willy. When Willy is in the bathroom at the restaurant, a cheerful song begins, along side of the Womans laughter. The instant that Biff sees the Woman, the music stops, then begins once more but in a slow, droopy manner. Now the music stops after a life has been wrecked. This type of music has been foreshadowing his oncoming death by starting merry and ending abruptly in a sad way.

Ben has a special type of music. Being Willys inspiration, he is portrayed by quick, lively music. His wonderful stories of his life are told in contrast to a proud tune. His song does change a bit in parts where Willy is confused or feeling low but is still lively at that. When Willy would ask Ben for advice or for a short story about their father, Ben would whip out that big grin of his, breath in, and talk away like there was no worry in the world, and to Willy, there wasnt at that period of time. The saddest song in the play though would be the teary sound of the flute at Willys funeral. Starting out a bit cheerful, the tune fades from a major key to a minor key, hence going from a merry sound to one of sadness and desperation, yet a good sound for a well-deserved tribute.

Willy was a mislead salesman. He wanted the best for his boys. Joyous songs always backed up these times. But when his craving for the best turned into the worst, an unpleasant song backed it up. When Willy was confused, a medley of the two was heard. Human emotions are something we all take for granted because they are not properly understood. Music is just one of the many ways that will make these emotions understandable.

Death of a Salesman – Father-Son Relationships

The Importance of Biffs Role in “Death of a Salesman” The play “Death of a Salesman”, by Arthur Miller, follows the life of Willy Loman, a self-deluded salesman who lives in utter denial, always seeking the “American Dream,” and constantly falling grossly short of his mark. The members of his immediate family, Linda, his wife, and his two sons, Biff and Happy, support his role. Of these supportive figures, Biffs character holds the most importance, as Biff lies at the center of Willys internal conflicts and dreams , and Biff is the only one in the play who seems to achieve any growth.

Biffs role is essential to the play because he generates the focus of Willys conflict for the larger part, his own conflict is strongly attributed to Willy, and finally, he is the only character who manages growth or a sense of closure in the play. Willy is forever plagued by the fact that Biff has not “gone anywhere in life. ” Biff, who is already in his thirties, is still drifting from place to place, job to job, most recently work as a farmhand. Biff is a source of endless frustration for Willy, who always dreams of Biff being incredibly successful in the business world.

When Willy has memories of Biff as a boy, he is completely obsessed with whether or not Biff is well-liked; however, he is completely oblivious to things like Biffs having stolen a football from school, and the fact that Biff is failing his math class. “Be liked and you will never want,” says Willy(1363). The amount of aggravation generated by Biffs lack of motivation and desire to be “successful” makes Biffs role extremely important The play also spends quite a bit of time focusing on Biffs own conflict, which is basically his father. In his youth, he shared his fathers great aspirations for himself.

He was captain of the football team, and had plans for college and then a career in business afterwards. Biff was absolutely obsessed with pleasing his father, who was flawless in his eyes. All of this changed, however, when Biff found his father in a Boston hotel room with another woman. After that, Biff “laid down and died like a hammer hit him “(1392). Biff had never dreamed for himself, being concerned only with fulfilling his fathers wishes. When Biff realized that Willy was not the great man that he thought he was, his dreams became nothing to him, as had his father.

And so, Biff became a drifter, living only on a day to day basis. Lastly, Biff is the only character who achieves any real growth in the play. Throughout the play Linda has remained static, always steadfastly supporting Willy, and believing he is incapable of flaw. At Willys funeral, Happy says, “Im gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. Its the only dream you can have-to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where Im gonna win it for him”(1415). His father died deluding himself, and apparently Happy is going to do the same.

It is only Biff who realizes “[Willy] had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrongThe man never knew who he was”(1415). Biff has accepted the fact that he was not meant to be a salesman and must seek another path in life. Having made these observations, it quickly becomes clear that Biffs character is as vital to the play as is Willys. Without Biff there would be no play. Therefore, Biffs role in “Death of a Salesman” is important because he is the focus of Willys attention and distress, his own conflict is based on his father, and Biff actually grows at the end of the play, which is important to any story.

Willy Loman – the unsuccessful, imaginative salesman

Willy Loman is the unsuccessful, imaginative salesman which the play is focused on. He is very child-like and this can be noticed in his lack of reality. He believes he is the best salesman ever and thinks that everybody likes him. Children often have these ideals. They often think they are the center of the universe and haven’t had any experiences in their short lives that would bring them back to Earth. Willy has chosen to selectively ignore reality and live in his own world. Willy isn’t a good salesman and isn’t well liked.

He is a failure and refuses to accept that fact, even with the pleadings of his favorite son. Willy is also and stubborn and competitive man. He has always been competitive with Charley, his friend and has tried to exceed him in everything. Charley is successful and has a son who also has become successful. This is the ecact opposite of Willy. Charley offers Willy a job when Willy gets fired. However, Willy refuses because he is so stubborn. Charley is always nice to him and has given him money so that Willy can pretend he is getting a paycheck.

Charley also gives him advice that would help him become successful, but he doesn’t take it because that would mean conceding that Charley is successful and he isn’t. Another example of his stubborness is the fact that he refuses to accept the fact that his philosophy of business (becoming successful by appearance and being well-like) doesn’t work. He grew up being told those ideas but times have changed. Society has become more capitalistic. Willy refuses to adapt and cannot accept a business system based on capitalism.

He does realize to a limited extent that he doesn’t really have a place in society. He is part of a dying generation. Thus, his stubbornness and refusal to accept reality are major parts of his character and eventually lead to his suicide. Willy is also a loving father, but in a dillusional way. He has two sons, Biff and Happy. He loves both of them but Biff is his obvious favorite. He has great aspirations for Biff and tries to live vicariously through him. Biff doesn’t follow his fathers lead and in many ways is a victim of his father’s delusion.

Willy wants so much for Biff as any parent would want for their child. He realizes he is a failure as a parent because he instilled the values Biff has. He commits suicide in hope that Biff will get the insurance money and then become a successful man. Willy and Biff have a conversation that reveals both of their true feelings and causes a change in Willy. He realizes that his son does love him. He also now knows that he is a failure in business and as a husband and father. When he lost his job he also lost his will to live.

Though he still lives in a dream world, reality is hitting him. He continues to have delusions about his dead brother, which shows that he still isn’t truly in touch with reality. His brother tells him to come to the forest and find the diamond. Willy takes the car and commits suicide. He became a victim of his own delusions. I felt sorry for Willy Loman and wished that he hadn’t been so stubborn. He did have the potential to become a great businessman, he just needed to adapt to the industrialized world.

Willy was a weak man. He wasn’t a strong enough person to accept the reality around him. His weakness as a man also allowed him to commit adultery. He instilled values in his son that reflected him. He tried to live vicariously through Biff and ended up destroying any chances Biff had to become a successful businessman. He was also so weak that he committed suicide. He couldn’t face reality and succumb to negative forces. He never tried to change and thus in many ways deserves what happened to him.

Death of a Salesman, a powerful play

Death of a Salesman was a powerful play, written by Arthur Miller, which was produced in 1949. He establishes a serious tone towards his subject. Also, Miller sets an ambiguous attitude towards the audience. Miller established a very serious tone about the relationship between the father, Willy, and his son, Biff. Miller feels that a father should always be loved. However, Willy has filled his son with false values, emphasizing flashy success and personal popularity, like being star quarterback for his football team, at the cost of real effort and personal integrity, like when Biff flunked his math exam.

He even taught Biff to steal, without even realizing it. “Willy:… [Biff] Go right over to where they’re building the apartment house and get some sand… Charley: Listen, if they steal any more from that building the watchman’ll put the cops on them!… Willy: You shoulda seen the lumber they brought home last week… ”(50). As one can see, Willy is almost encouraging Biff to steal in order to make a new stoop. However, when Willy finds out Biff has been stealing other things, like the school’s football, he seems shocked. “Willy: What is he stealing?…

Why is he stealing? What did I tell him? I never in my life told him anything but decent things. ”(40). Because of the lack of morals, Willy had made it extremely difficult for Biff to love him, especially when he caught him with a women other than his mother. Nevertheless, he always loved his father, even when he totally ignored him. “Biff, crying, broken: Will you let me go, for Christ’s Sake?… Willy, astonished, elevated: Isn’t that-isn’t that remarkable? Biff-he liked me!… Happy, deeply moved: Always did, Pop”(133).

When Biff was crying, it showed that he still loved his father, even though Willy is making it hard for him to live his own life. Happy’s quote shows that Biff always loved his father. As a result, Miller feels that no matter what circumstances, a son should always love his father. Miller set an ambiguous tone towards his audience. The audience must chose whether they pity or scorn Willy’s actions. For example, when Willy committed suicide, one can pity him because killing himself could have been an act of love for his family.

Since he saw himself as an inadequate husband and father, Willy felt that his family would be better off without him in their lives. Also, by killing himself, his family would reap the life insurance benefits from his death for his family. As a result, the audience has sympathy for Willy because he gave up his own life to benefit the lives of his family. At the same time, the viewers have hatred for Willy. The lack of moral character was the biggest flaw and it leaked into his children, like teaching his children success and popularity over effort and integrity. Also, he lived his life a lie.

He thought he was someone big and special, and was not. He angered the audience, not because he thought he was someone successful, but because he knew he was not successful. Living like a coward, he was always afraid to face the realities and problems of his family life and work, and this is how Willy disturbed the audience. An important aspect of the story was towards the end of the play. The scene is set with Willy conversing with his son, Biff. The conversion between the father and the son was an expression of both love and hatred, two very opposite and distinct human emotions.

Biff expressed his outrage with the moral character that was instilled in him by his father but, at the same time, he expressed his forgiveness by proclaiming his true love for his father. “Biff, at the peak of his fury: Pop, I’m nothing! I’m nothing, Pop. Can’t you understand that? There’s no spite in it any more. I’m just what I am, that’s all… Biff, crying, broken: Will you let me go, for Christ’s Sake?… ”(133). Biff unleashes his rage towards his father by forcing him to understand that he is who he is, not someone his father wants him to be.

Also, love is shown when Biff breaks out crying for his father. At the end of this very emotional conversation, Willy feels that his life is now over. He enters his automobile and drives recklessly, taking his own life. In conclusion, Arthur Miller stresses the important of a father and son relationship. Also, the ambiguous tone towards his audience leaves the reason for Willy’s suicide open for interpretations. Was it an act of love, or an escape from reality? It is left for the audience to decide.

The play “Death Of A Salesman”

The play “Death Of A Salesman” , the brainchild of Arthur Miller was transformed and fitted to the movie screen in the year 1986. The play itself is set in the house of Willy Loman, and tells the melancholy story of a salesman whom is in deep financial trouble, and the only remedy for the situation is to commit suicide. In the stage production of this tale, the specific lighting, set, and musical designs really give the story a strong undertow of depression. And logically the screen and stage productions both differ greatly in regards to the mood they set.

Moreover the movie production can do many things that just cannot be done on stage, with reference to the setting of course. To generalize, the play gives us a good hard look at the great American Dream failing miserably. However the combination of both the stage and screen productions accurately depict the shortcomings of the capitalist society. Death of a Salesman specifically focuses on four characters, the first being the main character Willy Loman, his wife Linda, and their two sons Hap and Biff Loman.

As mentioned, the focal point of this play is Willy Loman, a salesman in his early sixties. Throughout the story we are told the hard life, emotions and triumphs of Willy the salesman. Early in the play we learn that he has recently been demoted to working for commission, which later in the play,(on par with his luck) translates into Willy getting fired. As the plot unfolds we discover that Willy had a rich brother who recently died named Ben, whom Willy looked upon with great admiration for becoming extremely wealthy and the ripe old age of 21.

However Willy also becomes very depressed when Ben leaves, the fact being that he re-realizes the meagerness of his own life, and that he is still making payments on all of his possessions. Willy then comprehends that bye the time his worldly possessions are paid forthey shall no longer be of any use. For example, the Loman house has become virtually unnecessary now that the two sons have moved out. It isn’t until after Willy’s death that the final mortgage payment is made. for a house with no one inside it. The one example of this statement is given by Linda during the final paragraph of the play, I made the last payment on the house today.

Today, dear. And there will be nobody home. We’re free and clear. we’re free. we’re freewe’re free” As the plot thickens, Willy the salesman plummets deeper and deeper into depression until his most likely route of action, which of course is suicide. However the reasoning behind this course of action, we find, is his genuine love for his family, along with Willy’s deep longing to supply his family with as much money as he can possibly get his hands on. As we learn more about Willy’s trials and tribulations, the age old expression “like father like son” appears out of nowhere like a beacon.

Like his father, Willy’s son Biff also has some problems of his own, the main one being that Biff cannot seem to find his niche in life. Furthermore, we are told that Biff at one point did in fact have his future all planned out. It turns out that Biff was a shoe-in for a position on the University Of Virginia State football team. However, that chance was all but lost when Biff did not qualify to pass his final mathematics course. Now as you can imagine the fact that Biff had to explain this to his father was quite a large problem in itself.

But to add insult to injury, when Biff made the trip to Boston to explain his mathematical dilemma, he is horrified to find that his father has been with another women. And this one incident would leave Biff being an entirely different person altogether. He didn’t even make an attempt to finish his math in summer school. After Boston, Biff couldn’t have cared less what happened to his own life. However, as is in life, out of something horrible comes something worthy. And Biff finally comes to the realization that he in fact wants to make his future. And that future entails working in the outdoors on a farm.

The other reasoning behind this life decision is of course, is to go against the wishes and values that his father has tried to instill in Biff his entire life. Biff pours his heart to his brother Hap one quarter through act I. .. “To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks a year for the sake of a two week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off … ” Fortunately for Biff, he determines his future by the play’s conclusion. He comes to the understanding that he and Willy were never meat to be business men.

Including that they were intended to be working on a farm with their hands. And after vexing to procure Hap to come with him (which is to no avail), he escapes from his home to continue on with the rest of his life. Which for Biff seems to be the soundest choice, the decision that Willy just couldn’t make. Hap on the other hand stays with his father, and at play’s end decides to follow in Willy’s footsteps. That of course is to succeed at business at all costs. Both the stage and screen rendition utilize a melange of distinct effects to set the tone and to enact the specific place where the action transpires.

For example the stage interpretation utilizes a unique convention that involves walking through the set to delineate circumstances in the past, or episodes going on inside the mind of Willy. This illusion can be easily created with specific crossfades and musical underlay, and of course willing suspension of disbelief. Divergently, in the screen production the set is obviously utilized in a completely different manner. On that account the movie uses a distinct fading and brightening lighting technique, that still stays true to the conventions set forth by the playwright.

The one device that the screen production contains that the stage does not, is the ability to display the past events of Willy’s life in a completely accurately set manner. Meaning when there is a flashback to a previous happening, the setting travels back in time as well. Which, from a certain perspective, better illustrates the past recollections of Willy and his family. As mentioned the stage production successfully employs music to delineate certain characters or the tone of that particular instant.

There is in fact music used in the movie, however it is only a small aspect of the screen medium whereas it is an integral component of the stage version. Although you cannot fully comprehend the importance of the music by simply reading the play, it must be performed right in front of you.. While the movie gives you a generally decent feel for the musical intonation. In its entirety the music does an excellent job of setting the mood that Willy is in. The play is set inside the house of Willy Loman. Surrounding his house are some tall building that are quite visible on the edges of the set.

The house itself contains two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. This is also where the majority of the action of the play takes place. All other action happens outside the house lines. Which for a stage audience requires them to suspend their disbelief even further. Whereas in a movie the viewer isn’t required to stretch any of his or her imaginations. Although this particular screen production utilized a uncommon convention that allowed the viewer to actually see through the set. One other interesting convention used by the designer was that there was no roof on the house at certain times during the performance.

And in place of the roof were huge buildings and skyscrapers. These buildings were used to divulge a over-powering feeling of gloom. This tool is much more effectual in the movie, due to its original and abstract nature. This was also was very helpful during Willy’s dreams, on account of the house would exude an aura of peace an tranquillity. Together with the prevalent set in the movie, (where there is a roof and normal fencing), the idea is very well perceived. In spite of the fact that this play has been described as a modern tragedy, there has been some controversy to that description.

The reason being that it does not accompany the standard protocol of tragedy. Traditionally speaking, a tragedy usually begins with the main character in the midst of a prominent position of piety. And over the course of the play becomes transformed and that character flips to a lower level of status. A tragedy is also reputed to acquaint its audience with regard to life. The audience should leave a tragedy feeling virtuous about themselves, even though the tragedy concludes on a note of melancholy. This is why scholars say they cannot include this play in the definition of tragedy.

This famous tale of a salesman contains a singular main character; Willy (The Salesman)Loman, his two strapping young lads Happy and Biff, and of course his adoring wife Linda. Willy struggles to climb his way up the American capitalist hierarchy, but its seems his ship will not come in. In spite of the fact that Willy would much rather be laboring with his hands, he is set in the mindset that his real love could never make enough money. Disappointment after disappointment Willy decides that his only way to provide for his family would be to commit suicide.

The number one son of the salesman, Biff, is paving his way for a discouraging life. Symbolically speaking, the character of Biff represents Willy at a younger age, for they both carry the same characteristics. However Biff is given the same chance to do something with his life, and surprisingly enough he takes it. As for Willy’s other son, Happy decides that he will take the same long, hard road as his father, only he thinks that he’ll make it. The Character of Willy Loman seem to be the consummate model to illustrate the dissension of the American capitalist ideals.

For example he is a salesman who dons an aged suit that is ceaselessly creased during the course of the screen production, moreover in the script is directed to appear dilapidated. He drive an archaic, run down vehicle on the brink of extinction. While on the contrary, a proper salesman must appear presentable and attractive to market his goods. And Willy definitely does not harmonize with the ideals of being a salesman, divergently he pains to match it. Moreover that is the reason why he doesn’t belong inside the world of business. As exemplified in the passage made by Biff in the requiem.

When he’d come from a trip; or on Sundays, making the stoop. You know something Charley, there’s more of him in that front stoop than in all the sales he ever made. ” This story seems to epitomize the frivolity of agonizing to achieve something as insignificant as money and power. It definitely makes one question the social values of the American capitalist system, and why certain individual continue to pursue the ideals of that system on a daily basis. For the downside to the capitalist dream is hopelessness. And that downside is more that apparent in the Loman family.

The play, Death of a Salesman

In the play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Linda Lomans character is viewed differently by many people. Some critics have seen Linda as a controlling mother figure who is actually the one to blame for this failure of both her sons and her husband. In this report I will defend this view citing specific examples from the play. Linda was undoubtedly the only one in control throughout the play. I believe that Linda tried to be a good mother and wife but she did not really know what she was doing. At the very beginning of the book we see that Willy, on his way to Boston, has come home because he was unable to concentrate on the road.

And just as he was beginning to figure out why, she took his mind off the subject by suggesting that the problem was with the cars steering and not with him. Oh. Maybe its the steering again. I dont think Angelo knows the Studebaker.. And again: Maybe its your glasses. You never went for your new glasses.. By repeatedly doing this throughout the play Linda keeps Willy from facing the truth about himself. Also Linda gives Willy undeserved compliments, agreeing with him on his looks and ambition. ; meanwhile, he has no true ambition.

This causes Willy to build himself up into a great man. Another example of this is when Willy goes to see Howard Wagner about getting a job at home or at least close to home. While we realize how unlikely it is that Willy will get his wish, Willy does not realize this and Linda, who I believe is smart enough to realize it, supports Willy in excitement. Willy isnt the only one that Linda has affected. There is also Biff and Happy. Willy had taught Biff and Happy that if you were handsome, opportunity would come to you.

Now while that doesnt have anything to do with Linda, she never challenged what Willy taught them; she simply agreed with everything that Willy said. Linda is able to manipulate Willy, by making his ideas seem greater by giving them her full support. An example of this, similar to what happened with Willy and Howard Wagner, is when Biff goes to see Bill Oliver about a job. The two of them have not seen each other in twenty years and when they did know each other Bill Oliver did not know Biff too well. Despite this, Willy thought Bill would recognize Biff and offer him a job on the spot.

Hearing this Linda did not challenge Willy; she actually tried to quietly support him even though I felt she knew Biff would not be successful. During the majority of the play Linda hides her true self and contently agrees with Willy on most subjects. This makes it difficult to figure out what she is really thinking. Toward the end when Biff and Happy come home after leaving Willy at the restaurant, Linda drops her false personality and shows how she really feels. She explodes at her two sons for leaving their father alone at the restaurant during one of his fantasies.

She places all blame on the two of them for Willy becoming the way he is. In actuality, it is Lindas own fault that Willy has become what he is. She has compounded this by also causing her two sons to turn out the way they did. In this report, I have defended the belief that Linda is a controlling mother figure who is actually the one to blame for the failure of her sons and of her husband. In the play Linda listens to what Willy has to say and never stops him even though she knows what he says is wrong. This play is really about how Linda Loman has caused her husband to go insane and corrupted the minds of her children.

Willy Loman, the main character in Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman, the main character in Death of a Salesman is a complex and fascinating tragic character. He is a man struggling to hold onto what dignity he has left in a changing society that no longer values the ideals he grew up to believe in. While society can be blamed for much of his misfortune, he must also be blamed himself to an equal extent for his bad judgement, disloyalty and his foolish pride. Willy Loman is a firm believer in the “American Dream:” the notion that any man can rise from humble beginnings to greatness.

His particular slant on this ideal is that a man succeeds by selling his charisma, that to be well liked is the most important asset a man can have. He made a living at this for 30 years, but as he enters the reclining years of his life, people have stopped smiling back and he can no longer sell the firm’s goods to support himself. His ambition was one of greatness, to work hard and to be a member of the firm; and if he could not succeed in this respect, that he should at least be well-liked and be able to sell until the day of his death: When his friends would flock from all over the country to pay their respects.

Willy’s main flaw is his foolish pride, this it what makes him a tragic hero. Yet there are many facets to his personality that contribute to the state he and the family are in during the play. His upbringing of the boys is one major issue, he raised them with the notion that if one is well-liked, he need not worry about qualifications, he believed that if his boys were popular they would come out on top. Sadly, he doesn’t realise that the only way an ordinary person can get rich is through work (represented by Bernard) or through luck and good timing (Ben), and Willy missed the boat when it came to luck.

The boys grew up to believe in all that their father had told them, and Happy went on to follow in his footsteps as a salesman. Biff, after catching his father with the woman begins to question these values. He realises that for him, at least, these values are not applicable, and he is not too concerned if he doesn’t come out on top. He just wants to be able to say he knows who he is. The aptly named Happy continues to believe in these ideals even after his father’s death and decides that the Loman name will succeed.

In 1949, shortly after the play’s premiere, Miller wrote a controversial essay about how Death of a Salesman was a true tragedy, only with common people rather than kings. Loman’s lack of self-awareness is not unlike King Lear’s, it could be argued – both men evoke the tragic by dying in the effort to secure, in Miller’s words, “a sense of personal dignity. ” As the play progresses, one begins to feel sorry for Willy and his predicament, but also angry and frustrated with the character for his foolish pride.

It is this trait that prevents him from accepting a steady job with Charlie, something that could have saved his life. However, it is this false pride has been sparking the family flame for years, the notion that the Loman name was well known and well-liked. The family lie even amongst themselves about their position as is revealed during the climax of the play: BIFF “… We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house! ” HAPPY “We always told the truth! ” BIFF (turning on him) “You big blow, are you the assistant buyer? You’re one of two assistants to the assistant aren’t you?

Another example is the way in which Willy led Biff to believe that he has a salesman for Oliver, which in the end left Biff bitterly disappointed. The cause for this extrapolation of the truth may be part of Willy’s paranoid psyche that he has not raised his boys ‘right’. Happy says of Willy: “He’s never so Happy as when he’s looking forward to something. ” This is very important during the play. Willy’s spirit wanes when he has nothing to look forward to, and when his spirit is down, he goes into a flashback. It is as though he is dying and his life is replaying before his eyes.

For example, the morning when he is going to see Howard and Biff is going to see Oliver, Willy is invigorated and in the realms of sanity for the first time in the play. Once he gets fired, however, he goes into a tailspin, reliving incidents from the past until he reaches Charlie. The next scene is the restaurant, where he is expecting big news from Biff, he is sane and relatively Happy, waiting for the news that will fulfill his dream. Once Biff starts trying to explain his point of view to Willy, and break it to him gently, Willy realises that something is going wrong and starts another flashback.

This time to the woman; he feels a lot of guilt about his affair and relives this event at this moment because he believes that it is the reason that Biff is unsuccessful. Willy gradually realizes that his selling career is washed up, and foolishly believes it is below his dignity to work any other job. In what he believes is the best interest of the family, he decides to commit suicide, so that his family may get the life insurance. He does not consider that his family loves him, but prefers to look at what is the best business move.

He believes that this final solution will give the family a chance financially as well as recover lost dignity (when Biff sees the masses that are supposed to go to his funeral. ) Willy says to Charlie: “Funny you know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive. ” This statement is a sad reflection on the state of mind that Willy is in due the unfortunate combination of his ideals and the change which has occurred in his society.

Willy is a multi-faceted character which Miller has portrayed a deep problem with sociological and psychological causes and done so with disturbing reality. In another time or another place Willy might have been successful and kept his Sanity, but as he grew up, society’s values changed and he was left out in the cold. His foolish pride, bad judgement and his disloyalty are also at fault for his tragic end and the fact that he did not die the death of a salesman.

Death Of A Salesman Illusion Vs Reality Misc

Throughout Arthur Millers , Death of a Salesman , the Loman family cannot discern between reality and illusion, particularly the father, Willy. This theme is evident throughout the whole of the play and eventually leads to the downfall of the main character, Willy. Willy has many illusions throughout the play. He believes that being well-liked and personally attractive will put you ahead in the business world. This is an illusion in which Willy believes in with all his heart and cannot get away from it.

Another illusion that Willy has concerns Biff and Happy. He believes that his sons are very successful, well-liked, and personally attractive young men, when, in reality, they are two failures who have done nothing in their life. Biff also starts to believe these falsehoods. He believes the illusion that he was a salesman for Bill Oliver when, in reality he was just a shipping clerk. His father had been putting these lies into his head for so long that he himself started believing them.

Biff sees the truth and realizes that he is a dime a dozen. Willy still believes in this lie and replies, I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman and you are Biff Loman!. Willy is unable to escape from his mountain of lies and eventually kills himself because of it. Literally, Willy often lapses into a flashback and appears to be reliving conversations and events that occurred years ago. This, in itself, is the inability to see reality. A big portion of the story is presented though the use of flashback.

This is key to the structure and understanding of the play. Willy is constantly lapsing in and out of reality. Each flashback is somehow related to the present. Most of the time, the details of the flashbacks include crucial knowledge to understand why the present-day problems are occurring. For example, when Willy is thinking about Biffs problems, Willy is taken to the summer of Biffs senior year. The events that took place in the past show the reader the events that have lead up to the present-day conflicts in the Loman family.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

As the curtain is being pulled up, we find Willy Loman, a depressed 60 year old salesman, who is returning from a business trip. Willy has two sons named Happy, and Biff, both of whom are complete failures. The failures of both his children cause Willy to go insane, and he plans to kill himself. He thinks that if he kills himself his son, Biff, will see how well liked his father was and he will come to love his father instead of arguing with him all the time. In the end at Willy’s funeral no one, but his family show up to pay their respects.

In his sons eyes Willy seemed to be a coward trying to escape the torments of the world, but in truth he was trying to get the $20,000 insurance money so his family could live a happy life. The main conflict in Death of a Salesman deals with the confusion and frustration of Willy Loman. These feelings are caused by his inability to face the realities of modern society. Willy’s most prominent delusion is that success is dependent upon being well-liked and having personal attractiveness. Willy builds his entire life around this idea and teaches it to his children.

When Willy was young, he had met a man named Dave Singleman who was so well liked that he was able to make a living simply by staying in his hotel room and telephoning buyers. When Dave Singleman died, buyers and salesmen from all over the country came to his funeral. This is what Willy has been trying to emulate his entire life. Willy’s need to feel well-liked is so strong that he often makes up lies about his popularity and success. At times, Willy even believes these lies himself.

At one point in the play, Willy tells his family of how well-liked he is in all of his towns and how vital he is to New England. Later, however, he tells Linda that no one remembers him and that the people laugh at him behind his back. As this demonstrates, Willy’s need to feel well-liked also causes him to become intensely paranoid. When his son, Biff, for example, is trying to explain why he cannot become successful, Willy believes that Biff is just trying to spite him. Unfortunately, Willy never realizes that his values are flawed.

As Biff points out at the end of the play, “he had the wrong dreams. ” In many ways Biff is similar to his father. In the beginning of the play we see that Biff shares many of the same ideas as Willy. He values being well-liked above everything else and sees little value in being smart or honest. One of Biff’s main flaws is his tendency to steal. Early in the play we learn that he has stolen a football from the school locker. When Willy finds out about this, instead of disciplining Biff, he says that the coach will probably congratulate him on his initiative.

We also learn that Biff once stole a box of basketballs from Bill Oliver. This foreshadows the scene in which Biff steals Bill Oliver’s fountain pen after trying to get a loan for his sporting goods business. The climactic scene in Biff’s life comes when he finds a woman in Willy’s hotel room. This causes Biff to realize that Willy is a fake. Biff’s tragedy is that he has accepted Willy’s values all his life, and now that he finds out they are false, he has no values of his own to rely upon. Thus, Biff becomes lost and must set out to find his own values.

Once Biff begins to develop his own beliefs, his opinions about his father change. Instead of viewing his father as a fake, Biff comes to realize that his father had some good qualities, but was simply misguided by inadequate values. “I’m always in a race with the junkyard! I just finished paying for the car and it’s on it last legs. The refrigerator consumes belts like a goddam maniac. They time those things. “(Act 2, page 73, lines 16-19) Willy’s belief in this statement drew him to believe that big business lacked compassion.

Unfortunately he realized this when it was too late. He believe in his invincibility and believed his company would take care of him for the rest of his life, and he neglected hi family. It is because of this that he is abandoned by Biff and disowned by Happy, left babbling in a toilet. It is this flaw which allowed him to die a slow death and played the greatest role in his eventual downfall. Willy did not put his family first, he was always thinking about money and prestige. He did not realize that he was the one driving his family farther and farther away form him.

He also didn’t realize that he was driving himself over the edge. In the end Willy’s son Biff, begins to understand what he is going through and he himself realizes he is going to be what he is going to be, not what his father wants him to be. As I was reading the story I felt Willy’s pain. For Willy Loman, however, mass society has created only tremendous grief and hardship, aggravated by the endless promise. For these reasons, his tragedy is due more to societies flaws than to the flaws in his own character.

Willy Loman was host to many flaws and deficiencies ranging form suicidal tendencies to psychotic disorders. However, these shortcomings did not account for his tragic end, by themselves anyway. Society is to blame. It was society who stripped him of his dignity, piece by piece. It was society who stripped him of his lifestyle, and his own sons who stripped him of hope. This is very relevant because it shows how society affects people. I would definitely recommend this book to my friend. It shows an important lesson in life, which everyone should know no matter if they are young or old.

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman

An excellent father will make every effort to constantly do what is best for his family. He will put his needs last, ensuring that his family is well cared for and not lacking for any necessities. And, most significantly, a first-class father will make his family his main concern, coming before his job, his friends, or even himself. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a prime example of a horrific father in every way mentioned previously. Not only is Willy Loman not a good father and spouse, but he furthers his failure by being a typical anti-hero and by failing to accomplish the American Dream.

There for I believe the play is not necessarily what Miller and Kazan perceive it to be. Here I will be discussing Willy Lomans discraceful actions towards his family and finally expose the actual theme of the play. Willy is not a good father for many reasons. First and foremost, he has made his occupation his number one priority. For years, he has traveled for his business so frequently that he has never had the opportunity to truly get to know his own sons.

As a result, he cannot love them as a father should; his love for Biff has been based on his achievements as an athlete, and, when Biff loses his scholarship, Willy is so devastated that he no longer loves Biff as he once did. He is, in fact, disgusted that Biff has become a cattle herder. He wants Biff to be the success that he never was, and feels that Biff will not achieve success in the occupation he has. Furthermore, Willy is unable to admit his faults. His pride is so great that he even lies to his own family, borrowing money weekly and then saying it is his salary.

He tried, in the past, to justify his affair with a strange woman when caught by Biff. He will not admit that he has made mistakes, for he will not sacrifice his pride. In all respects, Willy has failed to be a good father, or even a father of mediocrity. Instead, as a father, he is a pathetic and selfish failure, which is furthermore defined in every other aspect of his life. Moreover, Willy is a textbook example of an anti-hero. He has never been successful, even in his prime, yet lives in a daydream of the “good old days”, refusing to accept reality.

The reader therefore strives not to be like the protagonist, but rather, unlike him. He is not respected, even by his sons, and most frequently is disregarded by those around him. Even at his funeral, the only people who attend are his wife, his two sons, and his neighbor, Charley. He never achieved the love of those he interacted with, never gained any honor, and completed his life as a failure, never gaining success in business or in life. Any reader would desire to be, rather than all that Willy Loman was, all that Willy Loman was not.

Finally, Willy fails magnificently at achieving the American Dream. Throughout America’s history, immigrants have come to the United States hoping for a life of prosperity and success, but furthermore, hoping to at the same time take pride in what they do and to enjoy it. In all respects, Willy does not achieve the American Dream. Both affluence and fruition are complete strangers to him, while he sees those around him enjoying a life of well being. He has no pride in what he does, although he masks these emotions.

In truth, he is so embarrassed that he cannot make a single sale or earn a single dollar that he begins borrowing fifty dollars a week from Charley, and then pretending it is his salary. He lies to his family and to himself. He will not allow himself to do what he truly loves to do, carpentry, because he believes that it is more illustrious to be an unsuccessful salesman than be a satisfied carpenter. He therefore fails miserably at the true American Dream, exchanging it for an unachievable fantasy. Willy Loman is a failure as a family man, is an anti-hero, and never achieves the American Dream.

His life is an example of true downfall, which affects all of those close to him. By living in an illusion, Willy guaranteed that he would be unable to achieve all that he thought he should. As a result, his death is the final confirmation of his failed life, and reiterates everything that is stressed in Miller’s play. Truly, success could never be achieved in his life, even if he had made multitudes of sales. By giving up his dreams and true desires, Willy Loman died long before he crashed his car, and that led him to become every bit the failure that he will always be remembered as.

Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller

In Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller, Miller reflects the theme that everyman needs to be honest with him self and act in accordance with his nature by displaying success and failure in different lights. Miller embodies the theme through characters in the play by explaining how their success and failures in being true to themselves help shapes their fates. Strongest evidence of Miller’s theme is reflected in the characteristics of Biff Loman, Benard, and Willy Loman. Through out the play, these three characters never give way to other’s influence and what other’s view of being successful is.

Biff Loman, son of Willy Loman, is a man who begins the play blinded about the nature of him self. Taught to be well liked and stand out by his father, Biff’s whole life goal is to live up to Willy’s expectations and make Willy proud of him. After a visit to Boston to see his father, a trip to confess his failure in math soon turns into Biff’s self-realization about his true nature once catching Willy with a mistress. In a argument with Willy, Biff states, “And I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody!

That’s whose fault it is (1855). ” Biff is confronting Willy about certain actions he has taken in his life after high school. Why he never graduated from high school, why he never became a successful businessman like Willy always wanted him to be, why he ran off out west and became a nobody in Willy’s mind. “I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like all the rest of them! I’m one dollar and hour, Willy! I tried seven states and couldn’t raise it. A buck an hour!

Do you gather my meaning? I’m not bringing home any prizes any more, and you’re going to stop waiting for me to bring them home,” Biff states (1856). Here Biff is finally laying on Willy that he is not a businessman, a super star, or a leader. Biff is attempting to clarify to Willy that Biff knows what he really is, what he really likes, and why he did the things he did after high school. Willy could not force Biff to be something he is not, and after Biff caught Willy with the mistress, Biff never again confused about the true nature of him self.

Brought up on his father’s values, Biff never turns his back on his true self and still feels that out west is where his life should be. Benard, son of Charley, is the bookworm neighbor and childhood friend of Biff whose caring nature is shown through out the play. Never deviating from his helping sprit, Benard is always there to help out Biff and Willy whenever possible. In high school, Benard constantly reminds Biff that he needs to study with him so he doesn’t fail math and not graduate high school. “Biff, where are you? You’re supposed to study with me today.

He’s gotta study, Uncle Willy. He’s got Regents next week,” Benard states (1807). Here Benard is looking out for the well being of Biff. Even when everyone thinks he is being a nuisance, Benard still shows his helping hand and acting in accordance with his nature. Even as years past, Benard never loses track of what his nature is. All his studying and hard work lands him a high position as an attorney and he never let anyone’s criticisms stop him from being successful. Also, Willy comes to see Charley at his office with surprise to see Benard is there visiting his father.

Benard and Willy get into a serious conversation discussing what happened to Biff after high school. Here Benard tells Willy how much he loves Biff and cares for him even though he takes advantage of him. “Well, just that when he came back – I’ll never forget this, it always mystifies me. Because I’d thought so well of Biff, even though he’d always taken advantage of me. I loved him, Willy, y’know? And he came back after that month and took his sneakers- remember those sneakers with University of Virginia printed on them? He was so proud of those wore them every day.

And he took them down in the cellar, and burned them up in the furnace. We had a fistfight. It lasted at least half an hour. Just two of us punching each other down the cellar, and crying right thorough it. I’ve often thought of how strange it was that I knew he’d given up his life, what happened in Boston Willy,” Benard states (1837). Benard never stopped thinking about what happened to Biff all this time and was there that particular day he spoke of with Biff, crying, and being there when Biff really needed him. Benard is acting in accordance with his nature of caring and being true to him self, even under extenuating circumstances.

Willy Loman is a man whose strong beliefs never allow him to think otherwise and whose prideful nature dictates everything in his life. Never once does Willy feel what he teaches his boys are wrong and would do anything for his sons. Willy’s sons, Biff and Happy, are failures, but Willy doesn’t want to believe this. He wants his sons, especially Biff, to succeed where he has not. He believes his boys are great and cannot understand why they are not successful. Willy cannot see who he and his sons are. He believes that they are great men who have what it takes to be successful and beat the business world.

Unfortunately, he is mistaken. In reality, Willy and sons are not, and cannot, be successful. Also, Willy is also unable to see change. He is man lost in the modern era of technology. He says, “How can they whip cheese? (1806)” and is constantly “In a race with the junkyard (1831). ” Willy’s prideful nature never once let’s down, and he follows what he believes till the very end. In a conversation with Howard, Willy’s boss, Howard reveals to Willy that he is letting him go from the firm. Howard suggests to Willy that Willy should turn to his boys for support at his old age.

I can’t throw myself on my sons. I’m not a cripple,” Willy states (1832). Again, Willy can not allow his prideful nature fall and acts in accordance with his nature by suggesting to Howard that he continue to work at the firm, even in reality, he is no longer capable. Even after being fired by Howard and not having ajob anymore, he still is able to keep his pride. Every week he goes to Charley asking him to borrow some money, but Charley knows that Willy has no job and insist that he work for him, by offering him a job. Willy responds with, “I – I cant work for you that’s all don’t ask me why (1838).

Willy can give no reason of why he can work, but it is obvious here that his prideful nature can not allow him to throw himself at Charley for help, just as he was not able to tell Howard that he could not throw himself on his sons. This stubbornness behavior, although ilrash, was Willy’s way of acting in accordance with his nature. Biff Loman, Benard, and Willy Loman all share something unique. In Death of a Salesmen, the theme that every man needs to be honest with him self and act in accordance with his nature by displaying success and failure is implied strongly through those three characters through out the entire play.

Miller purposely embodied the characteristics in each of those men to show how a person beliefs or nature, can be the driving force and sometimes the reason for living in a persons life. Although, each of these men ended up with very different lives, Benard becoming extremely successful, Biff not as successful as his father hoped, but always true to what his true nature was, and Willy, giving his life up in the end to help his children, one thing is certain. No matter what anyone tried to tell these three men, or what ever obstacles they faced, they never once veered from the path that their true nature took them.

The Importance of Biff’s Role in “Death of a Salesman”

The play “Death of a Salesman”, by Arthur Miller, follows the life of Willy Loman, a self-deluded salesman who lives in utter denial, always seeking the “American Dream,” and constantly falling grossly short of his mark. The member’s of his immediate family, Linda, his wife, and his two sons, Biff and Happy, support his role. Of these supportive figures, Biff’s character holds the most importance, as Biff lies at the center of Willy’s internal conflicts and dreams , and Biff is the only one in the play who seems to achieve any growth.

Biff’s role is essential to the play because he generates the focus of Willy’s conflict for the larger part, his own conflict is strongly attributed to Willy, and finally, he is the only character who manages growth or a sense of closure in the play. Willy is forever plagued by the fact that Biff has not “gone anywhere in life. ” Biff, who is already in his thirties, is still drifting from place to place, job to job, most recently work as a farmhand. Biff is a source of endless frustration for Willy, who always dreams of Biff being incredibly successful in the business world.

When Willy has memories of Biff as a boy, he is completely obsessed with whether or not Biff is well-liked; however, he is completely oblivious to things like Biff’s having stolen a football from school, and the fact that Biff is failing his math class. “Be liked and you will never want,” says Willy(1363). The amount of aggravation generated by Biff’s lack of motivation and desire to be “successful” makes Biff’s role extremely important The play also spends quite a bit of time focusing on Biff’s own conflict, which is basically his father. In his youth, he shared his father’s great aspirations for himself.

He was captain of the football team, and had plans for college and then a career in business afterwards. Biff was absolutely obsessed with pleasing his father, who was flawless in his eyes. All of this changed, however, when Biff found his father in a Boston hotel room with another woman. After that, Biff “laid down and died like a hammer hit him “(1392). Biff had never dreamed for himself, being concerned only with fulfilling his father’s wishes. When Biff realized that Willy was not the great man that he thought he was, his dreams became nothing to him, as had his father.

And so, Biff became a drifter, living only on a day to day basis. Lastly, Biff is the only character who achieves any real growth in the play. Throughout the play Linda has remained static, always steadfastly supporting Willy, and believing he is incapable of flaw. At Willy’s funeral, Happy says, “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have-to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him”(1415). His father died deluding himself, and apparently Happy is going to do the same.

It is only Biff who realizes “[Willy] had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrongThe man never knew who he was”(1415). Biff has accepted the fact that he was not meant to be a salesman and must seek another path in life. Having made these observations, it quickly becomes clear that Biff’s character is as vital to the play as is Willy’s. Without Biff there would be no play. Therefore, Biff’s role in “Death of a Salesman” is important because he is the focus of Willy’s attention and distress, his own conflict is based on his father, and Biff actually grows at the end of the play, which is important to any story.

Death of a Salesman – Character Sketches

In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, the main character, Willy Loman, is a struggling salesman. Toward the end of the play, Willy commits suicide by crashing his car. Willy Loman is a complex character who confuses illusion with reality. In a way, Willy has two personalities in this play. The one we see in the present action is a tired man in his sixties. The other Willy is the one we see in flashbacks. He is young and confident. In Act Two, Scene Fourteen, Willy’s son Biff tells him that he loves him.

Willy can tell that Biff is not just saying this out of pity because Biff is sobbing. In a flashback, Willy speaks to his dead brother Ben. Ben keeps saying ‘Time, William, Time’;, reminding him that suicide is closing in. Ben also tells Willy that he should come to the jungle. In this scene, the jungle represents opportunities for success. The reason that Ben tells Willy to come to the jungle, is that when in the jungle, Willy can get the diamonds. The diamonds represent the insurance money that the family will get from Willy’s accident.

Therefore, Ben is saying that the only way Willy can get twenty thousand dollars in insurance money is to kill himself, or symbolically Ben is saying that he only way to get the diamonds is to enter the jungle. Willy also talks to Ben how great Biff would do with all of that money. Willy thinks one more time about Biff and how he was a great football player. This shows that Willy still thinks of Biff as a football hero, which is one of the reasons Willy thinks Biff is so magnificent. As Willy is finishing up his thoughts, his wife, Linda, is calling him to come up to bed.

After this happens, the sound of a speeding car is heard driving off into the night. In the same scene, Willy’s wife Linda has come to make a peace with their two sons, Biff and Happy. Linda also suspects that Willy may ill himself. She made a big mistake by leaving the disturbed Willy alone. The rubber tubing that Linda found on the heater foreshadows Willy’s suicide. Linda doesn’t want Willy to kill himself, but believes that she cannot interfere with his business. I believe that Willy’s suicide was an escape from shame. He couldn’t keep living his life as a lie.

Willy could not face reality. When people talked to him, he only heard what he wanted to hear. He was a very distracted and disturbed man. After losing his job, he felt he was too unsuccessful to go on living. His principles in life were based on being popular. He believed that if you were popular, you would be successful. Eventually, he faced reality and realized that he was not popular. A combination of his shame and his unpopularity is what killed Willy Loman. He felt like a failure. From Willy’s point of view, the suicide was an act of love.

He believed that by killing himself, Biff would be much more successful. Willy thinks that Biff is magnificent and wants to show it to him by giving him twenty thousand dollars in insurance money. A problem could arise here because it is not even certain that Willy’s suicide will be called an accident. If the insurance ompany sees it as a suicide, Biff will not get the money. From the family’s point of view, the suicide was very confusing. Each member of the family had a different idea of why Willy killed himself. Linda was wondering why no one had come to the funeral.

This shows that Linda had always trusted Willy and had believed all of the phony dreams that Willy had told her. Linda had reason to believe that Willy killed himself because of the mortgage payments. This is very ironic because after Willy killed himself, the house was paid off and they were free and clear of any more payments. Biff comes to realize that Willy had ‘the wrong dreams’;. Biff is still going to go out west to fulfill his own dreams instead of making himself big in New York which is something he hates. Happy believes that his father was a great man.

He wants to prove that Willy did not die in vain. He will justify Willy’s dreams by being manager of the store. It seems that Happy is almost becoming another Willy. I believe that Willy’s suicide was a cowardly act. Since he was fired, he felt that he had no reason to live. It seemed that the only thing that mattered to Willy was success and money. When he didn’t have either of those things, he did the only thing e felt he could do and that was to take his own life for sum of twenty thousand dollars. Willy did not give much thought as to how his family would feel after killing himself.

He only thought about the money they would possibly get from the insurance company. I feel he took the coward’s way out by killing himself instead of trying to solve his problems. Willy Loman thought his suicide was a courageous act. He thought he was being very brave by killing himself. He felt that he took the hard way out. Willy may have thought that he was the only one to suffer. His confusion between illusion and reality was very strong at the end of the play. He thinks he is going into the jungle to get diamonds but in reality, he is killing himself to get insurance money.

Biff saw Willy’s suicide as a cowardly act. He realized that all of Willy’s dreams were wrong, and that Willy had the wrong perspective on life. By committing suicide, Willy took the easy way out. Biff still will miss his father but he will not let his sorrow overcome him. In conclusion, Willy Loman was a very confused and disturbed man. He would look into the past to see where he made his mistakes. He suffered from delusions. By killing himself, he is portrayed as a coward who certainly had his priorities confused.

Death of A Salesman – Pride

Throughout the play “Death of A Salesman” by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman’s misguided pride leads to his tragic failure and lack of accomplishment. Willy’s pride and attitude cause him to brag constantly to his family and friends about his career. His pride also causes him to put a lot of pressure on his sons because he will not accept anything less than the best from his boys. Willy’s attitude is a dangerous thing to himself and his family because his constant bragging gives his family and himself a false sense of who he is.

Willy thinks that if you have money then you will be well-liked. To Willy, being well-liked is everything. In his way of thought people without money are not well-liked and if you are not well-liked then you are nothing. He thinks that he is well-liked but he is not. He even poisons the minds of his boys with the notion that being well-liked is everything. “Be liked and you will never want. You take me, for instance. I never wait in line to see a buyer. Willy Loman is here! That all they have to know and I go right through. Pg. 21).

This leads to his failure and lack of accomplishment because Willy thinks his life is going somewhere and he gives the impression to Happy and Biff that their lives will go somewhere too. Willy’s world revolves around money, because money leads to fame, and fame leads to recognition. “That a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being well liked. ”(Pg. 65-66). Willy and Charley have a certain amount of respect between them. Willy does not like Charley all that much but he respects him because he has money.

Well, I got on the road, and I went North to Providence. Met the Mayor. ” (Pg. 18). Willy thinks that because he met the mayor of Providence he is a big shot and that he is important. Incidents like this make him think that he is a well-established man and salesman. Another example of this is the fact that he named Howard. He thought that it meant something special when it really did not. He took so much pride in the fact that he named Howard that he felt that Howard owed him something. Things like this also cause Willy to create a fantasy world in his mind.

Willy leads a double life, because in his mind he sees himself as one of the most important people in the “sales world” when in reality, hardly anyone knows who Willy Loman is. So he waits and waits and waits figuring that he’ll get a job or his pay will increase but it never does. His lack of accomplishment and failure also stems from the fact that Willy’s false pride causes him to think so highly of himself which in turn allows him to keep setting goals that he can never possibly be able to achieve. Will lets his pride get in the way of his success in many ways.

Willy finds it easy to borrow money from Charley. ” If you can manage it – I need a hundred and ten dollars. ”(Pg. 74). But when charley offers him a job, the pride kicks in and prevents him from further accomplishment. ” I offered you a job. You can make fifty dollars a week. And I won’t send you on the road. ”(Pg. 74). Willy would rather go to work and make nothing then accept a job from Charley making fifty dollars because his pride forces him not settle for anything less than the best, so he turns it down waiting for a call from Howard that will never come.

In his mind he is a very significant part of his business but to Howard and the rest of the business world he is worthless. When it comes to his sons Willy is a good father, but he sets his children on the wrong path in life. He teaches them to be idealistic, which is alright but he never warns them about the bad things that could happen to them in their lives. Willy always tells his sons that they will be successful, but he never tells them it will be a hard road to walk down. All his life, Biff is told that he is going to be a success solely because he is well-liked.

Biff adopts his father’s idealistic attitude and mind set because all he wants to do is please his father. So much pressure is put on Biff when he is young, and he is ready to accept it until the day he sees his father with “the woman”. That is the day Biff lost all respect for himself and for his father. That incident changes Biff’s views on the world, he goes from being an idealist to a realist in a heartbeat. Because of Willy’ incapability to accept Biff for who he is, Willy’s failure increases.

Willy wants Biff to be the best because he might be a failure as a salesman but he does not want to be a failure as a father. But in some ways he is a failure as a father because he never lets Biff be his own person. It is always about what Willy wants, a “his way or the highway” sort of deal. His not accepting Biff for who he is causes Biff not succeed and because of this Biff and Willy failure becomes one in the same . In conclusion, Willy’s inability to accept and differentiate between what is happening in reality and what is happening in his mind is his downfall.

The misguided pride he has in himself made Willy think that he was well-liked. But in reality a he was nothing. The realization that he was nothing is what made Willy end is life. ”Funny, y’know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive. ”(Pg. 76). In the end Willy figures that if he ends his life he will be greatly missed by thousands of people and that people from around the world will come to his funeral, and also by doing this he will help out his boys. The sad thing about this all is that only four people show up to his funeral.

This proves the point that being well-liked does not mean thing because sometime you are not worth more dead than alive. Living a life full of failure Willy committing suicide was his last effort to be a good father. He had failed as a salesman be he could not let himself fail as a father. This play teaches us to have dreams but not to let them take over our live to the point when we do not know the difference between what is happening in our minds and what is happening right in front of us. If we do not remember that, each and every one us could easily end like Willy Loman.

Death Of A Salesman And Its Conficts Against 50’s Idealism

In the beginning of the play, the main character, Willy Lowman, has just returned home after finding himself unable to concentrate on driving. His wife, Linda, suggests that he ask for a job in New York so that he wont have to drive so much. Willy insists, however, that it is vital to his company that he work in New England. Willy asks Linda about his son, Biff, who has just come home after being away for several years. He cant understand why Biff is unable to get a good job. Soon Willy begins thinking about when Biff was a senior in high school.

He remembers how Biff was the star of the football team and how he was offered scholarships from several colleges. After Willys daydream ends, Charley comes in to play cards with him. While they are playing cards Charley offers Willy a job, but Willy refuses. As they are talking, Willys brother, Ben, appears to him in an illusion. Willy tries to talk to both of them at once and Charley cant understand. Willy and Charley get into an argument and Charley leaves. Willy then turns his attention to Ben and asks him how he became so successful.

Ben tells Willy that he went into the jungle when he was seventeen and when he came out at twenty-one he was rich. After Biff overhears Willy talking to himself, he asks Linda whats wrong with him. Linda explains that Willy is exhausted and has even tried to kill himself. When Willy enters the scene, Happy tries to cheer him up by announcing that he and Biff are going to start their own sporting goods company. He tells Willy that Biff is going to see Bill Oliver in the morning and ask for a loan.

Willy is optimistic and reminds Biff that the most important things in life are to be well liked and to have personal attractiveness. The next day Willy decides to ask his boss, Howard, if he can have a job in New York. Howard explains that there is no room for him in New York, and then tells Willy that he no longer wants him to represent the company. Now that Willy has no job, he must ask Charley for the money to pay his insurance premium. When Charley finds out that Willy has been fired, he offers him a good job in New York, but Willy refuses.

Charley gives Willy the money and then Willy leaves to meet Biff and Happy at a restaurant. When Willy arrives at the restaurant, Biff tries to explain to him that he has been living an illusion and will never amount to anything extraordinary. Willy refuses to listen to him and pretends that Biff has another appointment for the next day. When Biff tries to make Willy face the truth, Willy becomes furious and goes off to the bathroom. Biff and Happy then leave the restaurant. While Willy is in the bathroom, he goes into another illusion.

He finds himself in a hotel room with a woman. She is telling him how much she loves his sense of humor. Then knocking is heard at the door, and at first Willy refuses to answer it. As the knocking continues, Willy tells the woman to wait in the bathroom. He opens the door and finds Biff there. Biff tells Willy that he has flunked math and asks that Willy talk to his math teacher about it. Biff explains that his teacher doesnt like him because he once caught Biff imitating him in class.

Biff shows Willy the imitation and they both start laughing. The woman hears them laughing and comes out of the bathroom. Willy hurries her out of the room, but not before the woman demands the stockings that Willy promised her. Willy tries to explain the situation, but Biff wont listen. He accuses Willy of giving away Lindas stockings and calls him a liar and a fake. Willy is startled out of his illusion by the waiter who has come in to check on him. Willy asks if there is a seed store in the neighborhood and then leaves.

Later that night Biff and Happy come home and find Willy planting seeds in the back yard. Biff tells Willy that it would be best if they didnt see each other again. He tries to explain that he is only a common man and will never live up to Willys expectations, but Willy refuses to listen. Willy decided that he would commit suicide because he believes that with the 20,000 dollars of life insurance money Biff would finally be able to make something of himself. At his funeral, we see that Willy died a forgotten man because no one except his family came.

Analysis This play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, opposes many of the predominant values of the 50s, though it most notably opposes. These two qualities are Achievement and Progress. The play challenges the 50s ideal of achievement in the sense that its main character, living in the guise of achievement for many years, must come to grips with the fact that he has never really achieved the notoriety and respect that he believes he has. Likewise, his two sons are also without achievements in life.

Happy, the older son, lives his life working at his mediocre job, backing up his illusions of success with the fact that the office girls all want to sleep with him. Biff, the counterculture element of the play, Has tried repeatedly to achieve that goal which his father has set for him, and has failed every time. Biff realizes, though, that this goal is unattainable and subsequently realizes that it is alright to live in mediocrity, that success need not be measured by fame and fortune. It is at this point that the play conflicts with the ideal of progress.

As Biff attempts to explain to his deluded father that one need not be well known and rich to be a man, Willy refuses, maintaining his death-grip on the idea that a man must be remembered as great to have lived a commendable life. Willy absolutely refuses to part with his vision of the American Dream, where you are measured just as much by how you are remembered after death as you are by your notoriety in life. Likewise, a device used by Miller in illustrating this point is the idea that all aspects of Willys material belongings are old.

His car, his house, his clothes are all of an antiquated nature by contrast to those of everyone around him. All in all, Death of a Salesman is a freeze frame of the changing society in the 50s and into the 60s. Sons were rebelling against the molds their fathers set for them. Men who lived by the old codes and social mores were growing disillusioned and derelict. And the society of the whole nation was slowly getting turned inside out, all as the traditions of the old school were grudgingly usurped by the traditions of the new.

Death of a Salesman Report Essay

It is late evening and the sun is about to set on old highway 53 heading south from Yonkers to home. Willy driving in is car, continuously thinking to himself, what he his going to do about all his problems. You see Willy is down on himself about his success in life. He thinks to himself that he could be better known and make more money to pay off his bills. As Willy is driving down the road it becomes hard for him to concentrate on the road as he thinks more and more about the good things that had not happened to him.

Willy is going home to a wife that loves him very much and two sons who care about him like two sons should even though they have caused a lot of stress on Willy. Once young adults grow up and you get through to them they usually will come around and be a productive considerate member of society. Willy thought long and hard the rest of the twenty minuet drive about nothing but negative things. Willy has a lot of positive things going for him, and at the moment he can’t grasp them. He pulls up to his home and gathers his briefcase with files of sales and heads to the front door.

Scene 1 begins) Linda in the morning of her husband’s death whom she still loves very much is finding it hard for herself to go on with her life. She knows she has her boys who love her very much and are going to be there for her. She sits and thinks how hard Willy worked for them to own that house and know she sees no reason to go on with here life. The community came together to encourage Linda to carry on and with this she meet a lot of people. She is know seeing someone a little younger than her, but he his in the house to comfort her.

She thinks what it would have been like with Willy still there or if he his watching right know. The two sons are doing well know, they are both out west working hard in the construction business and make a point to visit mom and the grave of Willy Loman, there hard working stressed father. They all think to themselves if he where here know he could have been able to enjoy himself hopefully. Willy Loman the main character and the salesman in the story took actions that may influence the results in the outcome of his life. Willy is hard on his oldest son Biff for the reason of molding him into a strong person.

Willy tries hard to motivate Biff in is way of motivating. When Willy starts to motivate Biff it seems has if he is trying to be hard on him. The yelling that Willy did at Biff makes him madder and for that matter it doesn’t help motivation of people. Biff needed to be talked to somewhat like and adult and Willy assumed not attempt that. Shortly after he died his wife Linda was able to make the last payment on the house. Has Willy died he never thought that he see the house paid off and him not even be able to live and enjoy it.

Death Of A Salesman And Its Conficts Against 50’s Idealism

In the beginning of the play, the main character, Willy Lowman, has just returned home after finding himself unable to concentrate on driving. His wife, Linda, suggests that he ask for a job in New York so that he wont have to drive so much. Willy insists, however, that it is vital to his company that he work in New England. Willy asks Linda about his son, Biff, who has just come home after being away for several years. He cant understand why Biff is unable to get a good job. Soon Willy begins thinking about when Biff was a senior in high school.

He remembers how Biff was the star of the football team and how he was offered scholarships from several colleges. After Willys daydream ends, Charley comes in to play cards with him. While they are playing cards Charley offers Willy a job, but Willy refuses. As they are talking, Willys brother, Ben, appears to him in an illusion. Willy tries to talk to both of them at once and Charley cant understand. Willy and Charley get into an argument and Charley leaves. Willy then turns his attention to Ben and asks him how he became so successful.

Ben tells Willy that he went into the jungle when he was seventeen and when he came out at twenty-one he was rich. After Biff overhears Willy talking to himself, he asks Linda whats wrong with him. Linda explains that Willy is exhausted and has even tried to kill himself. When Willy enters the scene, Happy tries to cheer him up by announcing that he and Biff are going to start their own sporting goods company. He tells Willy that Biff is going to see Bill Oliver in the morning and ask for a loan.

Willy is optimistic and reminds Biff that the most important things in life are to be well liked and to have personal attractiveness. The next day Willy decides to ask his boss, Howard, if he can have a job in New York. Howard explains that there is no room for him in New York, and then tells Willy that he no longer wants him to represent the company. Now that Willy has no job, he must ask Charley for the money to pay his insurance premium. When Charley finds out that Willy has been fired, he offers him a good job in New York, but Willy refuses.

Charley gives Willy the money and then Willy leaves to meet Biff and Happy at a restaurant. When Willy arrives at the restaurant, Biff tries to explain to him that he has been living an illusion and will never amount to anything extraordinary. Willy refuses to listen to him and pretends that Biff has another appointment for the next day. When Biff tries to make Willy face the truth, Willy becomes furious and goes off to the bathroom. Biff and Happy then leave the restaurant. While Willy is in the bathroom, he goes into another illusion.

He finds himself in a hotel room with a woman. She is telling him how much she loves his sense of humor. Then knocking is heard at the door, and at first Willy refuses to answer it. As the knocking continues, Willy tells the woman to wait in the bathroom. He opens the door and finds Biff there. Biff tells Willy that he has flunked math and asks that Willy talk to his math teacher about it. Biff explains that his teacher doesnt like him because he once caught Biff imitating him in class.

Biff shows Willy the imitation and they both start laughing. The woman hears them laughing and comes out of the bathroom. Willy hurries her out of the room, but not before the woman demands the stockings that Willy promised her. Willy tries to explain the situation, but Biff wont listen. He accuses Willy of giving away Lindas stockings and calls him a liar and a fake. Willy is startled out of his illusion by the waiter who has come in to check on him. Willy asks if there is a seed store in the neighborhood and then leaves.

Later that night Biff and Happy come home and find Willy planting seeds in the back yard. Biff tells Willy that it would be best if they didnt see each other again. He tries to explain that he is only a common man and will never live up to Willys expectations, but Willy refuses to listen. Willy decided that he would commit suicide because he believes that with the 20,000 dollars of life insurance money Biff would finally be able to make something of himself. At his funeral, we see that Willy died a forgotten man because no one except his family came.

Analysis This play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, opposes many of the predominant values of the 50s, though it most notably opposes. These two qualities are Achievement and Progress. The play challenges the 50s ideal of achievement in the sense that its main character, living in the guise of achievement for many years, must come to grips with the fact that he has never really achieved the notoriety and respect that he believes he has. Likewise, his two sons are also without achievements in life.

Happy, the older son, lives his life working at his mediocre job, backing up his illusions of success with the fact that the office girls all want to sleep with him. Biff, the counterculture element of the play, Has tried repeatedly to achieve that goal which his father has set for him, and has failed every time. Biff realizes, though, that this goal is unattainable and subsequently realizes that it is alright to live in mediocrity, that success need not be measured by fame and fortune. It is at this point that the play conflicts with the ideal of progress.

As Biff attempts to explain to his deluded father that one need not be well known and rich to be a man, Willy refuses, maintaining his death-grip on the idea that a man must be remembered as great to have lived a commendable life. Willy absolutely refuses to part with his vision of the American Dream, where you are measured just as much by how you are remembered after death as you are by your notoriety in life. Likewise, a device used by Miller in illustrating this point is the idea that all aspects of Willys material belongings are old.

His car, his house, his clothes are all of an antiquated nature by contrast to those of everyone around him. All in all, Death of a Salesman is a freeze frame of the changing society in the 50s and into the 60s. Sons were rebelling against the molds their fathers set for them. Men who lived by the old codes and social mores were growing disillusioned and derelict. And the society of the whole nation was slowly getting turned inside out, all as the traditions of the old school were grudgingly usurped by the traditions of the new.

Analysis of Death of a Salesman

The play Death of a Salesman was written by Arthur Miller in 1949. He was born on October 17, 1915 in New York City. Most of Millers works emphasizes the common man struggling through the misconceptions and false illusions that modern society imposes. In the case of Death of a Salesman, Miller uses social realism, which is the attempt to describe human behavior and surroundings or to represent figures and objects exactly as they act or appear in life (Encarta 1).

The main themes of this play are the idea of the American dream and what it takes to success, the struggle to distinguish between reality and illusion, and the emotional problems of the family. Death of a Salesman is the story of the Loman family, especially Willy, trying to accomplish the American dream, but with no success. Willy Loman is married to Linda, and his two sons are Biff and Happy. Other characters as Ben, Charley, Bernard, and the women in the hotel play a major role in Willys downfall through the story.

Willy has always wanted to be successful and well-liked among people, but he has not accomplished anything. Miller presents a common man, Willy, as the tragic character of the play. In an article Miller states, I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing his sense of personal dignity (Miller, 1). In this article Miller clearly conveys that a person will sacrifice anything, even his or her own life, to protect his or her dignity.

In Death of a Salesman Willy is willing to sacrifice anything to accomplish his dreams of being successful and known as a powerful salesman. The play starts with Willy returning home from a sales trip. He is getting old and tired of traveling long distances. His two sons, Biff and Happy, are visiting the family. Willy tells Linda he does not know why Biff is lost, without a job, and no money. Willy expects his two sons, especially Biff, to become successful, but he has not realized that even his two sons are incapable of succeed.

Willy has immersed himself into a world of illusions. He is always tormented with the hopes and dreams he had years ago. Throughout the play Willy has flashbacks of his life, which are somehow related to the present events. Biff and Happy discuss in their bedroom about how Willy is becoming senile in his old age. Willy is in the kitchen remembering how Biff used to be popular in high school and the superstar of the football team. Willy has the wrong ideas about life. He believes that all it takes to be successful in life is to be well liked.

He tells his sons, Be liked and you will never want. You take me, for instance. I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. Willy Loman is here! Thats all they have to know, and I go through (DiYanni, 1142). In a sense, Willy is lying to his sons and to himself. He thinks he is well-liked, but in reality he is not. Another influence in Willys downfall through the play is the presence of his brother Ben in his dreams. Ben tells Willy that he became rich when he went to Africa and found a mine of diamonds. One might think Ben is not real, yet to Willy, Ben is very real.

Ben is another driving force behind Willys idea of success. As the play continuous, Willy becomes more involved in his dreams. He also remembered when Biff caught him with another women in a hotel during a business trip. Although Biff does not like what his father did, he feels sorry for him. Willy lives a life filled with false hopes. Biff and Happy tell him that they are going to talk with Bill Oliver, Biffs previous employer, to start a sporting good business. The next day, the Loman Family goes to the Franks Chop House where Biff and Happy invited Willy and Linda.

In the restaurant Willy finds out that his two sons did not talk to Bill about the new business and when Willy goes to the bathroom Biff and Happy leave the restaurant with a couple of women. After returning home, Willy is upset and ready to commit suicide. He wants to plan something in the garden before he dies. Willy also thinks that by committing suicide he will help Biff with the twenty thousand he will get. At the end, Willy eventually killed himself leaving behind a tragic life and a family immersed in a world of illusions with no hopes.

Willy Lowman’s technique in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman

No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible, while some attack the problem to get it out of the way. Willy Lowman’s technique in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, leads to very severe consequences. Willy never really does anything to help the situation, he just escapes into the past, whether intentionally or not, to happier times were problems were scarce.

He uses this escape as if it were a narcotic, and as the play progresses, the reader learns that it can be a dangerous drug, because of it’s addictiveness and it’s deadliness. The first time Willy is seen lapsing off into the past is when he encounters Biff after arriving home. The conversation between Willy and Linda reflects Willy’s disappointment in Biff and what he has become, which is, for the most part, a bum. After failing to deal adequately with his feelings, he escapes into a time when things were better for his family.

It is not uncommon for one to think of better imes at low points in their life in order to cheer themselves up so that they are able to deal with the problems they encounter, but Willy Lowman takes it one step further. His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind he is transported back in time to relive one of the happier days of his life. It was a time when no one argued, Willy and Linda were younger, the financial situation was less of a burden, and Biff and Happy enthusiastically welcomed their father back home from a long road trip.

Willy’s need for the “drug” is satiated and he is reassured that everything will turn out okay, and the family ill soon be as happy as it was in the good old days. The next flashback occurs during a discussion between Willy and Linda. Willy is depressed about his inability to make enough money to support his family, his looks, his personality and the success of his friend and neighbor, Charley. “My God if business doesn’t pick up , I don’t know what I’m gonna do! ” (36) is the comment made by Willy after Linda figures the difference between the family’s income and their expenses.

Before Linda has a chance to offer any words of consolation Willy blurts out “I’m Fat. I’m very–foolish to look at, Linda” (37). In doing this he has depressed himself so much that he is visited by a woman with whom he is having an affair. The woman’s purpose in this point of the play is to cheer him up. She raises his spirits by telling him how funny and loveable he is, saying “You do make me laugh…. And I think you’re a wonderful man. ” (38). And when he is reassured of his attractiveness and competence, the woman disappears, her purpose being fulfilled.

Once again the drug has come to the rescue, postponing Willy’s having to actually do something about his problem. The next day, when Willy is fired after initially going to ask his boss to be relocated is when the next journey into the past occurs. The point of the play during which this episode takes place is so dramatic that willy seeks a big hit of the flashback drug. Such a big hit in fact, that he is transported back to what was probably the happiest day of his life. Biff was going to play in Ebbets field in the All-Scholastic Championship game in front of thousands of people.

Willy couldn’t be prouder of his two popular sons who at the time had everything going for them and seemed destined to live great, important ives, much more so than the “liked, but not well liked” boy next door, Bernard. Willy’s dependency on the “drug” is becoming greater by the hour, at this rate, he cannot remain sane for much longer. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can quickly become a bad thing. Evidence of this statement is seen during Willy’s next flashback, when the drug he has been using for so long to avoid his problems backfires, giving him a “bad trip”, quite possibly a side effect of overuse.

This time he is brought back to one of the most disturbing moments in his life. It’s the day that Biff had discovered is father’s mistress while visiting him on one of his trips to ask him to come back home and negotiate with his math teacher to give him the four points he needed to pass math and graduate high school. This scene gives the reader a chance to fully understand the tension between Willy and Biff, and why things can never be the same. Throughout the play, the present has been full of misfortune for the most part, while the opposite is true for the past.

The reader is left to wonder when the turning point occurred. What was the earth-shattering event that threw the entire Lowman family into a tate of such constant tension? Now that event is revealed and Willy is out of good memories to return to. With the last hit of Willy’s supply of the drug spent, what next? The comparison between Willy’s voyages into the past and the use of a narcotic is so perceptible because of it’s verity. When Willy’s feeling down, or life seems just too tedious and insignificant, or when things just aren’t going his way, why not take a hit of the old miracle drug, memories.

The way he overuses his vivid imagination is sad because the only thing it’s good for is enabling Willy to go hrough one more day of his piteous life, full of bitterness, confusion, depression, false hopefulness, and a feeling of love which he is trying very hard to express to his sons who seem reluctant to accept it. “The Glass Menagerie” is set in the apartment of the Wingfield family. By description, it is a cramped, dinghy place, not unlike a jail cell. It is one of many such apartments in the neighborhood.

Of the Wingfield family members, none of them want to live there. Poverty is what traps them in their humble abode. The escape from this lifestyle, this apartment and these relationships is a significant heme throughout the play. These escapes may be related to the fire escape, the dance hall, the absent Mr. Wingfield and Tom’s inevitable departure. The play opens with Tom addressing the audience from the fire escape. This entrance into the apartment provides a different purpose for each of the characters.

Overall, it is a symbol of the passage from freedom to being trapped in a life of desperation. The fire escape allows Tom the opportunity to get out of the apartment and away from his nagging mother. Amanda sees the fire escape as an opportunity for gentleman callers to enter their lives. Laura’s view is different from her mother and her brother. Her escape seems to be hiding inside the apartment, not out. The fire escape separates reality and the unknown. Across the street from the Wingfield apartment is the Paradise Dance Hall.

Just the name of the place is a total anomaly in the story. Life with the Wingfields is as far from paradise as it could possibly be. Laura appears to find solace in playing the same records over and over again, day after day. Perhaps the music floating up to the apartment from the dance hall is supposed to be her escape which he just can’t take. The music from the dance hall often provides the background music for certain scenes, The Glass Menagerie playing quite frequently. With war ever-present in the background, the dance hall is the last chance for paradise.

Mr. Wingfield, the absent father of Tom and Laura and husband to the shrewish Amanda, is referred to often throughout the story. He is the ultimate symbol of escape. This is because he has managed to remove himself from the desperate situation that the rest of his family are still living in. His picture is featured prominently on the all as a constant reminder of better times and days gone by. Amanda always makes disparaging remarks about her missing husband, yet lets his picture remain.

Tom always makes jokes about his dad, and how he “fell in love with long distances. This is his attempt to ease the pain of abandonment by turning it into something humorous. It is inevitable that the thing which Tom resents most in his father is exactly what Tom himself will carry out in the end… escape! Through his father, Tom has seen that escape is possible, and though he is hesitant to leave his sister and even his mother behind, he is being riven to it. Tom escapes reality in many different ways. The first and most obvious is the fire escape that leads him away from his desolate home.

Another would be the movies that Amanda is always nagging him about. She thinks he spends too much time watching movies and that he should work harder and find a suitable companion for Laura. The more Amanda nags, the more Tom needs his movie escapes. They take him to another world for a while, where mothers and sisters and runaway fathers do not exist. As the strain gets worse, the movie watching becomes more frequent, as does Tom’s drinking. It is getting harder and harder for Tom to avoid real life.

The time for a real departure is fast approaching. Amanda eventually pushes him over the edge, almost forcing him out, but not without laying overpowering guild trips on him. Tom leaves, but his going away is not the escape that he craved for so long. The guilt of abandoning Laura is overwhelming. He cannot seem to get over it. Everything he sees is a reminder of her. Tom is now truly following in the footsteps of his father. Too late, he is realizing that leaving is not an escape at all, but a path of even more powerful desperation.

Williams uses the theme of escape throughout “The Glass Menagerie” to demonstrate the hopelessness and futility of each character’s dreams. Tom, Laura and Amanda all seem to think, incorrectly I might add, that escape is possible. In the end, no character makes a clean break from the situation at hand. The escape theme demonstrated in the fire escape, the dance hall, Mr. Wingfield and Tom’s departure prove to be a dead end in many ways. Perhaps Tennessee Williams is trying to send a message that running away is not the way to solve life’s problems. The only escape in life is solving your problems, not avoiding them.

Death Of A Salesman Summary

As the play opens, Willy Loman, who has been a traveling salesman for 35 years, returns home after having just left for a sales trip to New England. He tells his wife Linda that he can no longer go on the road because he cannot keep his mind on driving. At the same time, his elder son Biff is visiting the Brooklyn home after being away for many years. Willy reminisces about Biff’s potential, 14 years earlier, when he was playing high school football and being offered athletic scholarships by numerous university teams. When we meet Biff, he is discussing future job prospects with his younger brother Happy.

Biff considers going to see Bill Oliver, a man for whom he had worked many years earlier, and asking him for a loan to get started in a sporting goods business. Biff and Happy tell Willy of this plan, and he gets very excited with the idea. He emphasizes that Oliver really liked Biff and we begin to see Willy’s fixation with the idea that one only needs personal attractiveness to be successful in the business world. In fact, Willy decides that he too will see his boss the following day and ask for a New York position rather than a traveling job.

The first day ends with the bright hope that Willy, Biff and Happy will achieve their goals for the following day. The three of them plan to meet for dinner after they have been to their respective meetings. Unfortunately, Willy is not successful in his meeting with Howard Wagner, his current boss and son of the deceased owner. In fact, Howard fires Willy because he believes the elder salesman is doing the firm harm. Willy is crestfallen and goes to see his old friend and neighbor, Charley. Charley loans Willy enough money to pay his life insurance premium.

Charley offers Willy a job, but Willy cannot bring himself to accept it. While at Charley’s office, Willy meets Bernard, Charley’s son, who has become a very successful lawyer. Bernard wonder’s why Biff lost his initiative 14 years ago. This angers Willy and causes him to reflect on the past. Biff and Happy meet in the restaurant for dinner. Biff explains that he has had some important realizations about himself. Apparently, Oliver kept him waiting all day and then could not remember who Biff was.

Biff was so upset by this turn of events that he stole Oliver’s fountain pen. This leads him to reconsider all of his previous jobs, most of which he lost because he stole from his employers. Willy arrives at the restaurant and tells Biff that he has been fired. When Biff begins to tell Willy that he stole Oliver’s pen and has been a failure all his life, Willy refuses to listen and retreats to the wash room. Biff leaves the restaurant and asks Happy to make sure Willy is all right, but Happy rejects Willy and departs with two girls he has picked up.

When Biff arrives home later in that evening, Linda is furious with him for deserting his father. Willy is in the backyard planting seeds and holding an imaginary conversation with his dead brother, Ben, who had been a very successful man. In the end, Willy commits suicide. He dies in a car accident, an attempt to leave his life insurance money to his sons, so that they could succeed in life. He hoped that he could give something to them so that they would not turn out to be failures like him.

Is it possible to control your whole life

In the play of Death of a Salesman Willy loman faces these questions. Willy Loman was a simple man who was a salesman. Since Willy thought that his life was so simple he thought that he could control everything to it. Willy Loman thought that he could control the aspect of his job, he thought he could control how successful his kids were going to be in business and most of all the thought he could control how people had felt about him. In a way Willy Loman was living in his own little world were he had control when in fact his life had control over him.

As this is seen Willy Loman doesnt realize that life is unpredictable you cant control every detail of were you work, what happens to your life nor can you control how people feel about you. Willy Loman feels that he has control over were he works. He feels that if he wants to make his life a little easier he can go to his boss and ask him to move him from working in New England to New York. As Willy leaves his house for Howards (Willys boss) office he says to his wife Linda Im gonna knock Howard for look, kid Ill get an advance and Ill come home with a New England job (74). Willy Loman feels that he is in charge of his life.

He thinks that since he worked for a sales company for a long time he can get what he wants. In fact, Willy Loman has no control over whether he will get the job in New York. When Willy goes to Howard Willy felt very confident that he will come back with the job after all he has worked with this company for a long time. As Willy had started talking to Howard the unexpected is said by his boss I appreciat that Willy but there just is not a sport for you. If I had a sport for you would slam you in (122). Not only didnt Willy get the New York job but he had lost his old job to.

As this is said one of the critics remarks to this event by saying The coldness of his former boss son the bills, the car, the tinkering around the house. And most of it all: the illusions by which he has lived opportunities missed, wrong formulas for success, fatal misconceptions about his place in the scheme of things (Atkinson 23). Willy sometimes lives in flashbacks of his life he sees the right path to a better life, he sees the changes he is going to do or are going to happen but when he goes back to the present he doesnt see the changes happen.

An example is the flashback of when Willys brother comes to visit. Ben is a self-made rich man and he offers willy a chance of a lifetime to work in Alaska. Willy decides not to as he says Well do it here, Ben you hear me? Were going to do it here! The reason that Willy decided not to go with Ben was because he felt he was building something with the firm (85). As Willy goes to the present he realizes that that business has failed him and he really was not building anything. Another flashback seen that Willy goes back to is when Bernard comes over to Biffs house and tells him that he forgot to come over and study.

When disappointed Bernard was leaving Willy had said Bernard can get the marks in school, yunderstand, but your going to be 5 times ahead of him in the business world (33). What Willly meant by that was even though Bernares was smarter then his sons, they were going to be ahead in the business world. He was a firm believer in that its not what you know its who you know and how well you are liked and Willy had thought that his sons had the type of look to be liked unlike Bernard. After all his sons were big and strong and they had the look to impact the business world.

As it turned out in the present that both happy and Biff were not really ahead of Bernard. While Bernard had a proffesional carrier working as a lawyer, Biff and Happy had no proffesion at all. As said by a critic agreeing on this idea Willy Loman has been a firm believer in the American Myth that success is obtained by being well liked and his two sons were have been raises on the philosophy. But Biff and happy has turned into insouciant do nothing (Champman 159). Willy had never expected Bernard to be that successful and nor did he want to in a matter of speaking judge a book by its cover.

The play Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller is one of the most renowned and important American playwrights to ever live. His works include, among others, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge. The plays he has written have been criticized for many things, but have been praised for much more, including his magical development of the characters and how his plays provide good theater. In his plays, Miller rarely says anything about his home life, but there are at least some autobiographical hints in his plays.

Arthur Miller is most noted for his continuing efforts to devise suitable new ways to express new and different themes. His play Death of a Salesman, a modern tragedy, follows along these lines. The themes in this play are described and unfurled mostly through Willy Lomans, the main character in the play, thoughts and experiences. The story takes place mainly in Brooklyn, New York, and it also has some flashback scenes occurring in a hotel room in Boston. Willy lives with his wife Linda and their two sons, Biff and Happy in a small house, crowded and boxed in by large apartment buildings.

The three most important parts of Death of a Salesman are the characters and how they develop throughout the play; the conflicts, with the most important ones revolving around Willy; and the masterful use of symbolism and other literary techniques which lead into the themes that Miller is trying to reveal. Arthur Miller was born in Manhattan on October 17, 1915 to Isidore and Augusta Barnett Miller. His father was a ladies coat manufacturer. Arthur Miller went to grammar school in Harlem but then moved to Brooklyn because of his fathers losses in the depression.

In Brooklyn he went to James Madison and Abraham Lincoln High Schools and was an average student there, but did not get accepted to college. After high school, he worked for 2 years at an auto supply warehouse where he saved $13 of his $15 a week paycheck. He began to read such classics as Dostoevski and his growing knowledge led him to the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Miller worked many jobs such as a mouse tender at the University laboratory and as a night editor at the newspaper Michigan Daily. He began to write plays at college and won 2 of the $500 Hopwood Playwriting Awards.

One of the two awarded plays No Villain (1936) won the Theaters Guild Award for 1938 and the prize of $1250 encouraged him to become engaged with Mary Grace Slattery, whom he married in 1940. Miller briefly worked with the Federal Theater Project and in 1944 he traveled to Army Camps across Europe to gather material for a play he was doing. His first Broadway play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, opened in 1944. Since then he has written 13 award winning plays and more than 23 different noted books. He had two children with Mary Grace Slattery, Jane and Robert, but divorced her and in 1956 married Marilyn Monroe.

He then divorced her later that decade, and, in 1962, married Ingeborg Morath and had one child with her, named Rebecca. He now lives on 400 acres of land in Connecticut and spends his time gardening, mowing, planting evergreens, and working as a carpenter. He still writes each day for four to six hours. His father always told him to read. He once said, Until the age of seventeen, I can safely say that I never read a book weightier than Tom Swift and the Rover Boys, but my father brought me into literature with Dickens(Nelson, Pg. 59). His fathers good-natured joking was used to invent the character of Joe Kellers genial side.

After the Fall (1947) is a play written by Miller where he sneaks in some small autobiographical notes. The character traits exhibited by the main woman in the play indicate his mothers early encouragement to his literary promise. The Depression still troubles him today, especially for the hard times that he went through as a child. In an interview, he once said, It seems easy to tell how it was to live in those years, but I have made several attempts to tell it and when I do try I know I cannot quite touch that mysterious underwater, vile thing.

Welland, Pg. 38) His parents could not afford college for him, so the Depression affected his life in many ways. Miller hated the McCarthy Witch-hunt trials of the early 1950s, and once was called before that tribunal but was acquitted of all charges. His play, The Crucible, is a very powerful allegory to the McCarthy trials. He has used the American industry many times in his works and criticizes such social aspects of American society as its bad moral values and people who put too much importance on material wealth.

Miller especially admired Henrik Ibsen, the great Norwegian master of the well-made, or tightly constructed, ordered play. Miller was familiar with the works of Eugene ONeill, Clifford Odets, and Thornton Wilder as well as that of such European Experimentalists as Bertholdt Brecht. All My Sons, Millers first drama to receive critical acclaim seemed to largely follow Ibsens style and form, the theme and even plot are based on some of Ibsens greatest works. Millers plays received a broad audience and made the dialogue as plain as possible for the common man to understand.

One critic, Euphemia Wyatt, once said, I think the closest parallel to Death of a Salesman is Ibsens The Wild Duck, where every action in the present works toward revelation of the past (Welland, Pg. 38). Miller believed that an ordinary person is able to serve well as a tragic hero if he gives up everything in the pursuit of something he wants intensely. Millers tragic heroes are usually confused. For example, Willy is confused about success and happiness. His solution to these problems of committing suicide is a highly questionable one, at the least.

But, Willy is planning on committing suicide for the betterment of his family, which is an admirable objective. He is willing to sacrifice everything he has, specifically his life, for his convictions, which makes him, with using Millers definition, the epitome of a perfect tragic hero. Miller used very creative and original formats in almost all of his works. For example, he has Willy holding two conversations at the same time, which shows the problems going on inside of his head.

When Willy is reminded of the Boston hotel room incident, he relives the event and feels all the pain like it had just happened. His language is sometimes considered banal and lacking emotional power (Moss, 125). Some critics believe that Miller has been too negative towards American society by showing mostly only the worst of what people can do. Also, he has been criticized by saying that he only shows the inhumane, mechanical workings of a business, never the loyalty that a company shows to its hardest workers. Some critics say his common man heroes are little and in the worst case, just common people.

It has also been said that his heroes are not genuinely human enough to qualify as tragic figures at all. He has also been criticized for using untraditional techniques like the Act One Overture in The Crucible and the Requiem in Death of a Salesman. Miller always tries to find new forms of style to explore new and different themes. Among these themes Miller takes into effect the vital contemporary issues of his time. Even those who disagree with his literary, political, or social views say that he does care about society and tries to tie in morals with his works.

Many also say his plays provide good theater, that his stories effect them emotionally, as well as mentally, and that they stir the heart. A critic who, while working for The New York Times, once called Death of a Salesman one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theater (Corrigan, Pg. 94) and John Gassner saw it as one of the triumphs of American stage (MacNicholas, Pg. 106). So, it can be stated that Millers works command attention. Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize, the Drama Critics Circle Award and many others when it opened in 1949.

Symbolism, foreshadowing and conflict are 3 of the many things that Miller does best. All of these literary techniques have added a tremendous amount to Death of a Salesman and many others of his works. The play begins when Willy Loman, a salesman over 60, enters his house unexpectedly, and tells his worried wife, Linda, that, on his way to appointments in New England, he kept losing control of his car. She urges him to ask Howard Wagner, Willys young boss, for easier work in town so he will not have to drive as far anymore, Willy, dear.

Talk to them again. Theres no reason why you cant work in New York (Miller, Act 1, Scene 1). She also happily states that their two grown sons, Biff and Happy, are upstairs and sharing their old room. Willy is concerned that Biff, 34 years old, just quit another job out west. The entire conflict between Biff and Willy can be proven as starting at their meeting in Boston. When Biff saw his father, the man he idolized, with another woman, Biff’s faith in him was shattered. To Biff, Willy was a hero, but after this scene, he denounces him as a fraud.

When Biff gets home, he burns his University of Virginia shoes, which represented all of Biff’s hopes and dreams. Biff no longer has feelings for Willy as Linda says, “Biff, dear, if you don’t have any feeling for him, then you can’t have any feeling for me”(Act 1, Scene 9). Linda believes that, since she loves Willy, Biff cannot come and just see her because it would hurt Willy too much. Biff had believed in his father as being a great man, and he realizes that he was wrong. When Linda asks Biff what is wrong between him and his father, Biff recoils and says that it is not his fault.

Biff does not want to tell Linda that the whole problem is because of Willy’s betrayal of her, so he just keeps it to himself and becomes the object of her anger. Willy’s problem with society is that modern business is impersonal. Even though “business is business”(Act 2, Scene 2), Willy should have been treated like a human being, not just a faceless employee. Howard, the owner of the business that Willy works for, believes that if an employee does not bring in profits, than that they are expendable. He takes no interest whatsoever in Willy’s past selling records, his association with his father, or with pledges made years ago.

Howard’s only concern is with the efficient operation of his firm, and he represents the cold, practical impersonality of modern business. Charley tries to tell Willy about this, “Willy, when’re you gonna realize that them things don’t mean anything? You named him Howard, but you can’t sell that. The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you’re a salesman, and you don’t know that”(Act 2, Scene 6). It was hard for Willy to hang onto his personal dignity and to live with himself as being such a poor supplier of his family’s needs.

He was trapped in a situation and saw himself as a failure. Society forgot Willy Loman existed and did not help him when he needed it, and his mental state made it impossible for him to help himself. Willy believed that he had to sell himself more than he had to sell his products. His whole outlook on life was wrong; he believed in attributes that a good salesman would be attractive, a good storyteller, well liked and that when he died everyone from far and wide would go to his funeral. He got this idea from the story of Dave Singleton, who represented, to Willy, the epitome of success as a salesman.

Willy is having mental problems, delusions of his long-dead brother Ben, whom he has many advice-searching conversations with. Ben represented success to Willy by Ben’s dignity, status and wealth, not his attributes, “There was a man started with the clothes on his back and ended up with diamond mines”(Act 1, Scene 4). The lies he keeps telling other people and the dreams he has for success actually begin to convince Willy that he was a great salesman who was known everywhere he went, “… ’cause one thing, boys: I have friends. I can park my car in any street in New England and the cops protect it like their own”(Act 1, Scene 3).

His deteriorating condition is exposed many times, but is most prominent when he is talking with both Charlie and Ben at the same time. Another example of the conflict inside of Willy is his repeated references to suicide. In Charley’s office, Willy says, “Funny, y’know? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive”(Act 2, Scene 6). Willy has already been contemplating suicide, but this is the first, straight-out mention of it. He takes suicide to be an honorable thing, something that would help his family greatly.

His mental condition makes him forget the fact that suicide is a cowardly option for getting out of his responsibilities. The climax of the story is after Happy and Biff return home from the dinner with Willy and the whole family has a big argument. Biff tells Willy that he is sorry for hurting him and says, If I strike oil Ill send you a check. Meantime, forget Im alive (Act 2, Scene 14). The father-son conflict between them ends in this conversation. It is the most emotional part of the play and where Willy is relieved of some guilt.

The denouement of the play is when Willy realizes that Biff loves him and has always loved him. Willy also believes that Biff could one day be a very wealthy man, if only he had some money to start with. Willy believes that the twenty thousand dollars that his life insurance policy is worth is enough. With these thoughts, and his mental problems affecting his thinking, he takes his car and commits suicide. The conclusion to Death of a Salesman takes place at Willys funeral where only his closest friends show up. This only proves even more so that Willys dreams were unrealistic.

Biff offers Happy a chance to break away from their fathers far-fetched dreams, but Happy does not take the offer. Charley tries to comfort Linda, but she wants to be alone with Willy. They all leave and Linda tells Willys grave that the mortgage on their house is finally paid off and that she is hurting that he wont be there to share it with him. The right term for the language in Death of a Salesman is probably describing it as Modern American. The speech is in the relaxed talking language of modern America, Gee, Id love to go with you sometime, dad (Act 1, Scene 3).

The Lomans live in Brooklyn, but the famous Noo Yawka accent is barely heard. The characters use the common speaking slang of conversation. But, when Happy tries to impress the two prostitutes at the restaurant, he speaks in a more formal tone, Why dont you bring-excuse me miss, do you mind? I sell champagne, and Id like you to try my brand. Bring her a champagne, Stanley (Act 2, Scene 7). Most of the action takes place inside of Willys disturbed mind, as he relives crucial scenes from the past even while groping through present-day encounters.

The rest of the action takes place in the kitchen and two bedrooms of Willys modest Brooklyn home. It was once in a suburban area but is now crowded in by high apartment buildings, The way they boxed us in here. Bricks and windows, windows and bricks (Act 1, Scene 1). The kitchen has a table in it with three chairs and a refrigerator. No other fixtures are in the kitchen. There is a living room in the house, which is not fully furnished. The boys bedroom has a bed with a brass bedstead and a straight chair. On a shelf over the bed is a silver athletic trophy. This setting shows the monetary restrictions on the Loman family.

Howards office is filled with expensive things that make him feel rich. This setting is another way for Miller to show the spite he feels towards people who put too much emphasis on material gain. One of the things in his office is a recording machine which Howard is obsessed with, This is the most fascinating relaxation I ever found (Act 2, Scene 2). Franks Chop House is a small, family run business with a small dining room. This setting is important because it serves as the location where Biff and Happy desert their father. The Boston hotel room has a bed, bathroom, and a small dresser.

This setting serves as the place where Biff loses all his faith in his father, You fake! You phony little fake! You fake! (2, 13) Willy is a broken exhausted man in his 60s, soon to end his life. He exaggerates and lies throughout his life to appear more well off. This stems from his feelings of failure. He worked steadily for thirty-six years at a job and has paid off a long-term mortgage. Even though he has supported his family, his own huge aspirations make him feel like he has been a failure. He also has bad moral values and continuously gives his children the wrong advice.

Willy had, at one point in his life, been a very confident man, but is now weak of both mind and body, as Linda expresses here, But youre sixty years old. They cant expect you to keep traveling every week. (1, 1). He wants Biff to love him but knows why Biff is so angry with him. He wants Biff to have a good life so decides to kill himself and get the insurance policy for Biff and Happy. Once he sees that Biff loves him, he says Biff, he likes me (2, 14), with a great look of joy on his face. Biff probably changes for the best as the play progresses.

From a lying, stealing person in the beginning he changes in the end to where he is reaching for a more realistic idea of what his life is all about. Biff cared for his father and was deeply hurt to see that his father, the man he admired most, was capable of infidelity and lying to his wife. He tended to go to extremes, though. His passionate insistence, toward the end, that he is nothing, or that he and his father are both a dime a dozen, still sounds a little like the uncompromising disclaimer of the younger Biff who had sobbingly burned his sneakers. Now he sees his fathers dreams as All, all wrong.

Yet although he still talks a little like the sports hero, he is now groping toward a more realistic, more mature self-appraisal. He realizes that neither Willy nor Happy will ever even get that far. Happy, at first, seems to understand life better than either Biff or Willy, but then it is shown that he is a very accomplished liar. He has all but convinced himself that he is slated to become his stores next merchandise manager. He cannot quiet his own scruples, he knows he is wrong when he takes bribes, and he has some sense of guilt regarding the seduction of other mens fiances, but does not stop either practice.

He refuses to face unpleasant truths and is always trying to impress people. Whatever occasional admissions he makes, he will not give up his dream world or his shabby sexual affairs. He may talk of changing his ways or getting married, but he never sounds convincing. He is finally seen rejecting Biffs invitation to start anew and prefers to justify Willys illusive dream of coming out number-one man (Requiem). Unlike Biff, Happy learns relatively little from witnessing his fathers collapse. Linda is primarily a wife rather than mother in this play.

If she is seen as motherly, her ministrations are for Willy rather than her sons. She is forever soothing, flattering and tactfully suggesting courses of action to Willy. She is almost always patient and kind to him, ignoring his minor outbursts and considerately accepting with grace such obvious deceptions as the burrowing of money from Charley. Linda loves Willy and regards his suffering with compassion. But she humors him as a child rather than meeting him squarely as an adult. Yet the same mild-mannered, gentle Linda can be surprisingly blunt and harsh, though, when she talks with her sons.

She once tells Happy to his face that he is a philandering bum (Act 1, Scene 9). After the restaurant disaster, she denounces both her sons fiercely, flings away their flowers and imperiously orders them out of the house. Her one thought is Willy. If their presence cheers him or helps him in some way, she is glad to have them around, but if what they do further upsets her already disturbed grown-up child, then the sons must go and not return. Bernard and Charley contrast strikingly to the Lomans. Unlike Willy, Charley lays no claim to greatness, but is content.

He goes along calmly and quietly, undistinguished but relatively content. His salvation, he once declared, is that he never took any interest in anything. That, of course, is not literally true for he shows unusually generous consideration to Willy and wants to help him, I am offering you a job (Act 2, Scene 6). He set himself a modest goal and is satisfied with modest achievements. Bernard is no match athletically to the Lomans, but gets good grades and is forging ahead brilliantly. When he is last seen, he is heading to Washington, DC to plead a case in front of the Supreme Court.

Willy stands in wonder as Bernard leaves and asks Charley why Bernard was not bragging, Charley replies, He dont have to- hes gonna do it (Act 2, Scene 5). Charley, on his part, takes issue with Willy on such vital matters as the importance of being well liked. Yet it is he who in the end defends Willy to Biff in almost melodic terms. Willy sneered at Charley, insulted him, and then borrowed sizable sums from him, but Charley can say with vehemence, Nobody dast blame this man (Requiem). This father-son combination is an exact opposite of Happy and Willy, they understand right and wrong.

The symbolism in Death of a Salesman is a major aspect of the story. One of the symbols, specifically, Biffs sports shoes with the University of Virginia printed on the sole, represent his confident dream of a bright future through an athletic scholarship. When his dreams are shattered, he destroys the shoes in a fit of angry bitterness. The stockings mentioned throughout the play stand for infidelity. They represent Willys attempt to look impressive outside the home by giving a box of brand new ones to the woman he has an affair with.

Linda darns her own stockings and that makes Willy feel like a bad provider for his family along with reminding him of his affair. Bens African cache of diamonds, to Willy, stands for his insurance policy. It is the great pile of gold waiting for him if he takes the opportunity. Ben is always seen looking at his watch and this symbolizes the time that Willy has to take the opportunity. Finally, Ben says, Time, William, time! (Act 2, Scene 14). With that, Ben is telling Willy to go through with his decision. The opportunity that they keep mentioning is Willy committing suicide.

Another symbol, Dave Singleman, the famous salesman, stands for success. He was everything that Willy ever dreamed of being. Willy wanted his funeral to be like Singlemans, with hundreds of people showing up and telling each other how great Willy was. One literary technique that Miller used well in Death of a Salesman is foreshadowing. One time, Willy says to Charley in his office, Funny, yknow? After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive (Act 2, Scene 6). Charley realizes what Willy is implying and replies to him, Willy, nobodys worth anything dead (Act 2, Scene 6).

This shows how Willy has already made up his mind to commit suicide. Also Willys Chevrolet and the rubber tube serve as the means for him to do that. These two things also are hints to the outcome of Willys life. Another literary technique Miller used is called flashback. The flashbacks are used as revelations of things mentioned in the present-day conversations. They serve as a tool to help the reader understand the background to the story. Willy is often caught reliving the Boston hotel room scene, and is also sometimes reminded of the better times he had with his family when he was younger.

A final literary technique Miller used well is irony. The reader sees that the problem between Willy and Biff is that Biff has lost all faith in his father. Linda often wonders why Biff hates his father so much, and never knows what is really going on. Biff: Because I know hes a fake and he doesnt like anybody around who knows! Linda: Why a fake? In what way? What do you mean? Biff: Just dont lay it all at my feet. Its between me and him-thats all I have to say. (Act 1, Scene 9) Linda has no idea of what is behind Biffs dislike for his father, and is sometimes confused by it.

One theme Miller expresses in Death of a Salesman is the corruption of modern business. Willy has worked for over 30 years for the Wagner Company, and, even though, to Howard, Business is business (Act 2, Scene 2), Willys plea of slightly more consideration as a human being is wrenching and serves to underscore this theme. Even Charley says that personal association does not count for much, but contradicts this when he offers his broken friend a job. Another theme expressed is unethical practices and questionable morality. Willy seems undisturbed by the news that Biff has not been studying.

He passes off some of Biffs actions, such as his cheating on exams and stealing the football, as being examples of initiative. Willy also tries to excuse his infidelity by saying Shes nothing to me, Biff. I was lonely, I was terribly lonely. (Act 2, Scene 13). Willy also says nothing to Biff when he tells him that he stole a football from his school locker-room and also Olivers personalized pen. Willy, Biff, and Happy all lie repeatedly throughout the play, with only Biff feeling bad about what he had done. We see that this family falls apart and that this theme should serve as a moral to anyone who reads it.

A final theme seen in Death of a Salesman is family solidarity. Early on in its history, it is seen that the family is very happy and that the two sons admire their hard-working father deeply, We were lonesome for you pop (Act 1, Scene 3). As the play progresses, it is shown that the whole family is unhappy, and that the bond between them all is unraveling as time passes. To resolve their problems, and if they wanted to help each other, they would have tried to discuss their problems instead of keeping them inside and arguing with each other.

Willys mental problems affected this, because he could only talk to his dead brother Ben about his family problems. If the family had stuck together, they might have pulled through Willys terrible problems. If the play All My Sons signaled the arrival of Arthur Miller as a most promising playwright, Death of a Salesman raised him to the rank of major American dramatist. He has been considered by many to be the greatest of American playwrights. Some of Millers contemporaries, who are themselves considered as being some of Americas leading writers, have bestowed high praise upon him and his works.

Gilbert W. Gabriel described Death of a Salesman as a fine thing, finely done (Corrigan, 95). Also, one of the most noticeable writers of all time, Euphemia Wyatt, termed it as being the, great American tragedy (Corrigan, 96). After reading this play a few times, the reader is left in an awe-inspired state. It is mind-boggling to actually see the pure essence of Millers meaning. He develops themes and morals so well in his works, especially Death of a Salesman, that it is taken for granted. The messages are easily seen, but never fully understood until the reader first understands the story.

Millers craftsmanship in this play is indisputable of being on the level of a masterpiece. Every aspect of the play is done magnificently well, and Miller blends these separate ideas together brilliantly. The symbolism and irony, especially, are two of the greatest aspects of the play. Millers unorthodox style adds even more to the greatness of the play. The flashbacks he uses are, at first, a confusing part of the play, but, when read over, only enhance the powerful messages told in it. The reader understands easier the problems that Willy faces because of Millers style.

Without the flashbacks, the background to his mental problems would not have been easily seen. The reader also sees the importance of the play in American society. Death of a Salesman, among other of his works, is used as a messenger of things Miller would like to see done away with in American society. He criticizes material wealth, the lack of American family values, and the lack of mutual responsibility between people. Miller, with just putting these themes into a great story, can be considered a good writer. Everything else that he has done in his works makes him a true master of plays.

Death of A Salesman, the main character, Will Loman

In Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, the main character, Will Loman, could be considered a tragic hero. A tragedy must have conflict in it. Now only with people, but also in the mind of a character. In Death of a Salesman to A View from the Bridge, it said, “…not only conflict between people, but at the same time within the minds of the combatants. ” From this, a tragedy must enlighten the reader, “…pertaining to the right way of living in the world. ” In a tragedy, it gives the reader hope that man will overcome his weakness. “It is the glimpse of this brighter possibility that raises sadness.

Overall, a tragedy must ensue in a struggle that pins man against himself, with the possibility that everything will work out for the best. “…Most accurately balanced portrayal of the human being in his struggle for happiness. ” Tragedy must ensue in the common man. The average man will compromise his being, in order to secure his personal dignity. He is trying to establish himself in society, where he thinks he rightfully fits in. Willy Noman was the average middle class man, who felt as a salesman, he commanded respect among his family and peers.

He compromised his family in order to create the “American Dream,” or perfect family. The tragic hero must have a “tragic flaw. ” This is a weakness in character. For Willy, it was his need to have material things, and have a perfect image. He had the “compulsion to evaluate himself justly. ” Willy was so caught up in his image and how much money he had, he got lost in a sea of self-pity. He strived for the best with physical possessions, not a clear state of mind. “…The tragedy of Willy Loman is that he gave his life, or sold it, in order to justify the waste of it.

What made Willy a tragic hero? In his mind, he didn’t meet society’s qualifications of a successful life. He strived all his life to set back in his older years, and contemplate on his happy life. Instead, he “stare[d] into the mirror at a failure. ” His children were not successful, Willy was not successful, and he had nothing to be happy about. A tragedy is about the “heart and spirit of the average man. ” As Willy had shown, his own-doing beat down his “heart and spirit”. Therefore, the reader relates most with the tragic hero, because it is the best reflection of himself.

Death of a Salesman and All My Sons

Arthur Miller profoundly explores the subject of morality and human values in his two famous plays, Death of a Salesman and All My Sons. Though dealing with a common topic , the works contain major differences that help to make them unique. Death of a Salesman describes the tragedy behind shattered dreams and the effects that they bring on entire families. It focuses greatly on illusions created by individuals and the inability of those individuals to except reality. All My Sons, on the other hand, explores the frightening reality of people’s insensitivity and their moral values and the illusions created to cover up the tragic reality.

The reality versus illusion theme exhibits the parallelisms and the distinctions between the plays. The subject of human values may be compared through the points of view, the imagery, and the life lessons of the two works. All My Sons denounces immorality more directly then Death of a Salesman. Joe Keller’s refusal to stop the shipment of cracked cylinder heads causes the deaths of innocent American soldiers. The grim reality is that he allowed the people who were defending him and fighting next to his sons to die, thus committing the ultimate sin of murder.

In All My Sons Joe Keller immensely influences the lives of many outside his family while caring only about his own. By contrast, in Death of a Salesman Willy Lowman commits adultery, a rather minor sin when compared with murder. His influence is limited only to the lives of his wife and sons, while he desires to impact the lives of those outside his family. Arthur Miller emphasizes the destruction of lives more apparently in All My Sons then in Death if a Salesman. However, both plays are linked to events dealing with acquisition of money.

The theme of material wealth can often be noticed as the basis for many actions in the two works. Joe Keller commits the terrible act because he fears loosing his business and thus, not being able to provide for his family materially. He willingly chooses money over the lives of the soldiers and over the life of his friend and partner. Similarly, Willy Lowman’s every action in life revolves around money and material success. His obsession with acquiring wealth destroys his relationship with Biff and his own sanity and happiness.

Willy has an affair only to further himself in his career, only to attract more customers. Also, his inauthentic dream for Biff centers solely around wealth. Willy explains to Biff that a man is measured by his success and his popularity, a lesson that cannot be described as moral. Another common theme of the plays is the constant lying. The characters of both works rarely tell the truth to themselves and to each other. Biff’s words in Death of a Salesman, ‘… We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!… ‘;. depict the reality present in both All My Sons and Death of a Salesman.

Through the two plays Arthur Miller explores several themes that deal with human values through different points of view that sometimes parallel each other greatly. Many distinctions can be seen in Miller’s use of imagery throughout both plays. Surprisingly, despite the heavy moral content of All My Sons, in Death of a Salesman Miller uses imagery more vividly and more abundantly. Death of a Salesman incorporates the clever use of time, foreshadowing, and also music all throughout the play. Willy’s constant flashbacks, though at times perplexing to the reader, create a nostalgic and sorrowful atmosphere.

They accurately present Willy’s longing for the past, for the lost time, and irreparable mistakes. Through perpetual referral to the past Miller allows the reader to journey inside the mind and the spirit of a troubled man. The play is constructed on this time travel into the past which brings about the dreams of the future. Willy’s flashbacks into the past also generate an air of anticipation. During one of the early flashbacks when Willi remembers a day with his boys Miller foreshadows Biff’s future when Willi asks Bernard to give Biff the answers to a Regents exam. ‘… There’s nothing the matter with him!…

He’s got spirit, personality.. ,’; insists Willy, refusing to accept the truth once again. Miller’s use of music also provokes foresight since whenever the music appears so does Ben. Ben’s entrances are always accompanied by music because Willy regards him and all he stands for as a vision from heaven, the highest form of personal success and happiness. The music is also the alluring attraction that slowly draws Willy in, encouraging and inviting him softly. On the other hand, All My Sons incorporates the use of the past only at the end of the play, creating a totally different effect.

When Larry’s letter is brought up, the past is stirred. This brings about intensity and apprehension, but also a resolution because all the secrets are revealed and soon after Joe kills himself. The time travel exist only through Larry’s disappearance and Kate’s persistent reference to it. Joe attempts to forget the past that is awakened only by Annie’s arrival and his dreams for the future are vague and not incessant. Thus, the use of time is only significant at the finale of the work. Miller also intrigues the reader through foreshadowing.

The most notable and apparent instance of foreshadowing is Larry and his disappearance. Miller hints at the importance of this fact throughout the entire play but reveals the answer only at the end. Another example of foreshadowing is the arrival of George. During the early mentions of this name the reader senses that there will be trouble but without concrete ideas to base the premonitions on. The use imagery is limited to the past and foreshadowing in All My Sons, where the mention of music is nonexistent. The contrasting imagery of the plays is based on the differences in the effects desired by the author.

Despite the differences in points of view and imagery, the works share major life lessons that they put forth. All My Sons emphasizes that immoral acts will not be forgotten and will always come back and haunt, as does Death of a Salesman. Years after the shipment of the cracked cylinder heads Joe’s deed resurfaces, costing him his son and his life. In the play Miller also denounces the quest for material success. Through Joe’s action and fate he portrays the importance of putting people before money, thus explaining that money is not everything in life.

A similar parallel can be drawn to Death of a Salesman. Willy Lowman’s fate depicts that quest for wealth prevents a person from realizing and enjoying what he has. Willy’s unrealistic dream for money costs him his son and his life since his affair is merely a result of his obsession. Though the plays share points of view, imagery, and life lessons, they are distinct and individual. Death of a Salesman profoundly explores the disillusionment of one man and the effect that it has on his family.

Arthur Miller describes one man’s obsession with wealth and popularity through the use of time, foreshadowing, and music, and thus, putting forth important morals of life. All My Sons deals with betrayal and death and the effects of the actions of one man upon the lives of many. The author portrays the lack of responsibility to the mankind and the lack of human values through Joe Keller with the use of the past and anticipation. Despite their distinctions, All My Sons and Death of a Salesman are parallel depictions of human morals and their lack, both are powerful portrayals of personal drama and tragedy.

Structure, Themes, and Motifs in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

At first glance, Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman appears to be a simple story of the tragic life of an ordinary man. Through a few flashbacks, it would seem that his whole dreary life is told and that is about it. However, this can not be the case, as we know that Arthur Miller is one of the greatest playwrights alive. After reading the play for the fourth or maybe fifth time, I became fully aware of the intricate structure, many themes, and different motifs that Miller used to make this play a classic. In the case of this work, the title would just about sum it up.

It is about a salesman, Willy Loman, who is quite ordinary and very unsuccessful. In the end, to no ones surprise he kills himself. The play takes place in the span of three days (including the funeral) and revolves around the return of Willy’s two sons who are grown up. He has worked for decades traveling all over New England selling goods for a firm and seems to think that because he is well liked (which really isn’t all that true), he is successful. He wishes that his sons too could be like him while they know that they will never be decent businessmen. This is a source of major conflict between the brothers, Biff and Hap, and Willy.

Linda, Willy’s wife, is very naive and thinks that her husband is just an innocent confused old man and faithfully loves him. She can not stand to see her sons argue against their father even thought they often are right. Through flashbacks and events in the play, it is apparent that Willy, at least subconsciously, believes his life has been terrible. He wishes he could have been as great as Uncle Ben, who made his fortunes in the African diamond mines and not on the rice patty. Willy was having an affair with another woman in Boston and Biff found out about it after his last year in high school.

Incidentally, this event probably led to Biff’s failure to complete math in summer school, which led to him not graduating high school. Willy tried numerous times to commit suicide with his car and the gas furnace. In the end, the salesman became convinced that he was worth more dead than alive and finally succeeded at something, killing himself with his car. By far the most important feature of this play is its flashbacks. They provide the viewer with crucial information that helps make sense of the disorder at the Loman household. They enabled Miller to make the action take place within three days as opposed to many years.

This ingenious method makes the play much more interesting while not sacrificing any important information. By the end, the audience is able to fully comprehend what factors have brought the Loman’s to the breaking point. The largest theme in the play is the ever-present conflict of reality vs. illusion. Of the four, Willy has the hardest time distinguishing between the two. Often, it seems he drifts back into time and relives certain defining moments in his life. This problem, of course, brought about his down fall. The illusion that he was well liked and that he was successful killed him when he saw the truth.

Another theme that is present is man’s general tendency to resist change. Willy has trouble in the modern era. This is evident in his troubles with the refrigerator and when he realizes there was a radio in the car that could be played as he was traveling. It seems he “is constantly in a race with the junkyard. ” Death of a Salesman can easily be a social commentary. Willy was obviously attempting to live his American Dream and he wished his sons would follow on the same path. However, Willy failed. After working all of his adult life, the machinery of Democracy and Free Enterprise spit him out like a spent “piece of fruit. Several motifs of reoccurring elements of the story appear in the play.

The largest would have to be the garden that Willy is always talking about. In Act One, he mentions that “The grass don’t grow anymore, you can’t raise a carrot in the back yard. ” His final act in life is planting a garden in the middle of the night with a flashlight in the backyard. Perhaps he does this as an attempt to leave a legacy after he realizes that he actually wasn’t “well liked” and a successful salesman. Other motifs would be the diamonds along with the jungle and the moon and the stars.

Diamonds and the jungle always come up when Willy is having his imaginary conversations with Uncle Ben. These two things are more than likely symbolic for success and life. Ben is always talking about “going into the jungle and fetching out a diamond. ” Last but not least, Willy often stares out into the night sky and comments on the beauty of the moon and the stars. Upon further reading, it became apparent how intricate and detailed Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller really was. The presence of many universal themes and common motifs would certainly lead many to read or see this wonderful play over and over again.

The Arthur Miller’s novel, Death of A Salesman

In many literary works, family relationships are the key to the plot. Through a family’s interaction with one another, the reader is able decipher the conflicts of the story. Within a literary family, various characters play different roles in each other’s lives. These are usually people that are emotionally and physically connected in one way or another. They can be brother and sister, mother and daughter, or in this case, father and son.

In the Arthur Miller’s novel, Death of A Salesman, the interaction between Willy Loman and his sons, Happy and Biff, allows Miller to comment on father-son relationships and the conflicts that arise from them. During most father-son relationships, there are certain times where the father wants to become more of a “player” in his son’s life than his son believes is necessary. The reasons for this are numerous and can be demonstrated in different ways. Miller is able to give an example of this behavior through the actions of Willy Loman.

When Biff comes home to recollect himself, Willy perceives it as failure. Since Willy desperately wants his oldest son, Biff, to succeed in every way possible, he tries to take matters into his own hands. “I’ll get him a job selling. He could be big in no time” (16). The reason that Biff came home is to find out what he wants in life. Because Willy gets in the way, matters become more complicated. Partly due to Willy’s persistence in Biff’s life, they have conflicting ideas as to what the American dream is. Willy believes that working on the road by selling is the greatest job a man could have (81).

Biff, however, feels the most inspiring job a man could have is working outdoors (22). When their two dreams collide, it becomes frustrating to Willy because he believes that his way is the right way. If a father becomes too involved in his son’s life, Miller believes friction will be the resultant factor. As unfortunate as it is, there are many instances where a father favors one son over another, which leads to social conflicts within the less-favored son. In most cases it is the oldest son that is being favored while the younger son is ignored.

Usually the father doesn’t even realize what is happening. He simply gets too caught up in the successes of his eldest son and he may even try to live out his life through his son’s experiences. Because Willy has dreams of grandeur for Biff, Miller subtly shows how Happy is overlooked. Throughout the novel, Willy makes references to how wonderful Biff is. ” . . . You got greatness in you, Biff. . . You got all kinds of greatness” (67). Happy, however, is barely talked to. This kind of favoritism has a profound effect on a child.

In order to be acknowledged by his father, Happy believes that he must become Willy’s version of a success by acquiring wealth and being popular. He convinces himself that this is the only way he’ll ever be truly happy. In the end though, he realizes that he is not happy. ” . . . It’s what I always wanted. My own apartment, a car, and plenty of women. And still, goddammit, I’m lonely” (23). Happy has been living his entire life in a way that he believes will bring him attention from his father, yet he becomes more miserable than if he had gone his own way.

When a father chooses to look favorably upon one son over another, disharmony occurs in the father-son relationship as well as in the son’s life. Within a father-son relationship, it is the responsibility of the father to provide sound values and leadership for his sons. In almost every family, the sons will look to their father as a role model and a hero. It is in the father’s best interest to use this opportunity to instill qualities that will allow his sons to become responsible individuals. Miller uses the Loman family to show how a father acts when he is more concerned with appearance than anything else.

Willy is obsessed with popularity. He believes that if a person is popular, he has everything. Since Willy was never popular himself, he adores the fact that his sons, and Biff in particular, are. In a sense, Willy idolizes his children more than they idolize him. Because Willy sees that his boys have attained what he deems as important, he forgets to teach them moral values. When Biff steals the football from school, Willy rationalizes the theft, saying that it is alright because he is popular (30). Willy also doesn’t take any stock in education.

When Bernard chastises Biff for not studying, Willy tries to justify it by saying that a person doesn’t need intelligence in the real world if he has good looks. “Bernard can get the best marks in school, . . . but when he gets out into the business world . . . you are going to be five times ahead of him. . . . The man who makes an appearance in the business world . . . is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want” (33). Because Willy’s sole belief is that a person should be popular, his sons never learn any genuine values.

Miller attempts to show the conflicts that occur as a result of a father not teaching his sons any morals. Willy ingrains in Biff’s head that a person can do anything as long as they are popular. Because of this belief, Biff develops an addiction to stealing. The reason he lost his job with Oliver was because he stole basketballs from him. He has trouble all his life because he steals. “I stole myself out of every good job since high school” (131). It is this reason that has caused all his problems with Willy, and Willy is to blame because he never told him differently.

Happy also has a sour relationship with Willy because of the lack of values he has. Willy always tells them that being popular is the best quality to have. Happy meets some women at the restaurant where he and Biff are supposed to meet Willy. When Willy starts to fall apart on them, Happy tries to ignore him so that he won’t look bad in front of the women. “No, that’s not my father. He’s just a guy” (115). Willy never instills family pride in them. It is this reason that a gap exists in their relationship with him.

Arthur Miller’s ability to have characters interact with one another allows him to comment on father-son relationships and the conflicts involved. A father is the most important thing a boy can have in his life. They relate to one another on a level that cannot be achieved through a mother-son relationship. It is important to have communication in the relationship because talking brings the two closer. A father, though, needs to know when to play an active role in his son’s life, and when to be more of an observer. If he mixes the two up, serious repercussions may occur.

The play Death of A Salesman

Death is such a contradicting situation. It is always a sad event, but in some perspectives it may or may not be a joyous event. Not to say that death should be celebrated, just to point out that life may have been a more dramatic experience. For my first novel in G. T. I read Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was born in 1915, in New York City. His parents were well To do until the depression. He attended college where he won three drama prizes. Death of a Salesman was his their Broadway play.

The play Death of A Salesman was an extremely confusing play, it was a dialogue between a family of people. There were numerous flashbacks used to illustrate things that happened in the past. The overall purposeof the flashbacks was to describe the situation that Willy Loman, the main character, was dillusional. I feel that in this the characters of this book are well described. The author describes Willy was an average man with a somewhat normal life. His wife Linda is loving and like any woman she sticks by her man. Happy and Biff are Willy and Lindas sons.

The play takes place when Biff and Happy come to visit their parentsfor a couple of days. The play is reality that most books and movies do not display. It shows an average american family struggling to get by. In the play it is apparent that the characters have strong dreams and aspirations. It is also obvious that they have not yet succeeded in accomplishing them. Quite a few events happen that prove, no matter how hard someone tries, in society things change and it is hard to reach full potential. The authors of the play puts more reality into the central theme of the play.

People et old and begin to do odd things such as talk to people that are not there or people that only exists in their minds. Throughout the play Willy would have conversations with people that he believed were there, but they really were not. Willy strived to be the best and if he was not successful, then things were not good enough. He was ashamed that his money supply was not sufficentenough to support his family. The theme changed throughout the course of the book. I believe the point that he was trying to emphasize was to never give up and all the barriers in the way will be broken.

This play has taught me the lesson that life is how one individual person decides to make it out to be. The plays point of view was from two or more characters having a conversation. The play suggested that in life that certain things have to be completed in life before death is bestowed upon someone. In this the example was that Willy had to resolve his long term bad relationship with his son, Biff. The play will help me in my life because like I have stated that the story or the plot may be fictional, but it could happen in someones life. In other words it is reality.

The word usage for the dialect were elementary and some untasteful words were expressed. For example the word fool is used several times. Other untasteful words are used, but they are to untasteful to mention. The stage directions had a larger more descriptive vocabulary. For example, when describing the house it says We are aware of towering, angular shapes behind surrounding it on all sides. The movie that this play reminds me of would have to be a small made for television only movie called The Red Door. It is a movie about a family of six, a mother, a father son, and three daughters.

The mother, Mary works at a shopping center and the whole theme of the movie is trying to get past the red door at the local restraunt. In the play and the movie all of the characters are the average family and they thrive to The characters in the movie all correspond with the characters of the play. They were both set in the past when it was a mans job to do the work and the woman to stay home. Although, in the movie the mother does work because the father is unable to find work due to the fact of some crimes he committed as a child.

Both the play and the movie eal very much with the past. In the play Willys son Biff has a resentment towards his father because he commited adultery. Biff was the one who caught him in the act and it devastated him. In the movie the father had childhood problems which he took out in his son. In the movie it does have one single set, but it changes like years. When the father and son grow up there is a strong animosity between them that might make there This was an interesting play that had many high points. I enjoyed it and my favorite part about it was the reality that it displayed.

The play Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

Tragedy was a very controversial issue in literature until recent years. Recent figures in literature have set a clear definition for tragedy. Author Miller is one of these figures. Plays and novels have distinguished the definition of tragedy. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary tragedy is a serious piece of literature typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror.

Millers explains that a tragic hero does not always have to be a monarch or a man of a higher status. A tragic hero can be a common person. A tragedy does not always have to end pessimistically; it could have an optimistic ending. The play Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, is a tragedy because its hero, Willy Loman, is a tragic figure that faces a superior source, being the American dream and the struggle for success. Loman also excites pity in the reader because of his defeat and his inability to become a success or teach his children how to make their lives successful.

Miller defines a flaw as an inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what one conceives to be a challenge to ones dignity Loman fulfills many of the requirements of being a tragic hero. Willy is not flawless in his actions, which by Millers standards make him a tragic hero. It is not wrong for Willy to have flaws and it does not make him a weaker man but a tragic figure. Miller designed the play so that Willy could be a tragic hero and for this he needs to have a flaw. Willys flaw is that he is unable to see things in a more realistic perspective.

Charley says something in the play that sums up Willys whole life. He asks him, “When the hell are you going to grow up? ” Willys spends his entire life in an illusion. He sees himself as a great man that is popular and successful. Willy exhibits many childlike qualities. Many of these qualities have an impact on his family. His two sons Biff and Happy pick up this behavior from their father. He is idealistic, stubborn, and he has a false sense of his importance in the world. The extreme to which he followed the dream brought him to disillusionment and a loose sense of reality.

Willy created a reality for himself where he “knocked ’em cold in Providence,” and “slaughtered ’em in Boston. “(p. 33) Five hundred gross in Providence becomes roughly two hundred gross on the whole trip. The ultimate result of his disillusionment is his suicide. It is ironic that he dies for his ideals although they are misconstrued. Another of Willys flaws is his disloyalty to Linda. Willy is unable to hold strong against temptations such as the women he slept with in Boston. Biffs faith in his father is lost after he encounters the situation. This may have been the cause for Biffs failure in life.

Another of Millers guidelines for a tragic hero is that a common man can be a tragic hero. Willy sums up to many of the characteristics shown in Arthur Millers article, Tragedy and the Common Man. Willy is the common man Miller speaks of in the article. Willy awakes each day to face the hard struggle of work. Although Willy is not very successful as a businessman he still goes to work everyday because he must support his family. Willy placed a great deal of importance on the success of Biff. Willy believed that the best way to achieve success was the fast way.

Willys dreams for his children to become successful shows his role as a common man. Willy went to extremes to try and reach his goal of Biff becoming successful. Biff is the most important thing in Willys life because he is Willys last shot at success. If Biff doesnt want to be successful and doesnt love him, then Willy would be more satisfied in killing himself in order to try and show Biff that he really is a success. If Biff does love him and wants to become a success then Willy is satisfied in killing himself in order to give Biff a better shot at success with his life insurance money.

Willys actions and his desire for Biff to become a success and live happily make him a common man. Miller says a tragedy usually deals with a greater power that is taking the freedoms of a lesser power. The lesser power deals with this and fights back against the greater power, while putting something of importance on the line, making him/her a tragic hero. Willy is unable to become a success because he is not able to reach the American dream and work for this successfulness. Although he fights for this successfulness, he fails. Willy has wasted his life on trying to become a success.

Willy puts his final stride toward success is in Biff. Willy has spent his life raising Biff and trying to teach him how to become successful. The problem is that Willy doesnt know how to reach success and he teaches Biff that success is fast and easy when its not. Willy always believes he can achieve that kind of success. He never lets go of his wasted life. He dreams of being the man who does all of his business out of his house and dying a rich and successful man. Furthermore, Willy also dreams of moving to Alaska where he could work with his hands and be a real man.

Biff and Happy follow in their fathers footsteps in their lofty dreams and unrealistic goals. Biff wastes his life being a thief and a loner; furthermore, Biff, along with happy try to conjure up a crazy idea of putting on a sporting goods exhibition. Biff really knows that Willy has never been successful and he looks down upon Willy for teaching him the wrong ideal. Biff does realize that Willy has wasted his life in order to make Biffs better. Miss Forsythe, youve just seen a price walk by. A fine, troubled prince. A hardworking, unappreciated prince.

A pal, you understand? A good companion. Always for his boys. (p. 114) Another idea that supports the fact that Death of a Salesman is a tragedy is that there is a possibility of victory. Miller speaks about the things that make a piece of literature a tragedy is his article Tragedy and the Common Man. Miller says that for a piece to be truly tragic an author can not hesitate to leave anything out and must put in all the information they have to secure their rightful place in their world. Although it does not happen in this play and Willy is unable to overcome the greater force, he is able to make an impact on it.

Willys failure sets an example that Biff understands. Willy could have still been successful if he was able to see the flaws in his ways and teach Biff the right way to be a success, which is in hard work. If Willy had not killed himself and taught Biff that working hard at anything would make his successful then Biff may have reached success for himself and make Willy a successful father as well. The reader must look at Willys suicide through Willys eyes. He killed himself in order to give Biff a better shot at being a success. Willy doesnt understand that killing himself is wrong and he is not looking for any pity.

Willy has sacrificed his own life so that Biff could have a better life. This truly does make him a tragic hero. Willy Loman is a tragic figure in the play Death of a Salesman. Willy faces a superior source in the play and puts his life on the line for his beliefs and the beliefs of others. He meets the requirements of Millers article for a tragic hero. Death of a Salesman also meets Millers requirements for a tragic play because of Willys role in the novel along with the other standards that Miller sets for a tragedy. The exploration of tragedy by people such as Miller helps to define it more clearly.

Miller, Author “Death of a Salesman”

Willys life in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman can be summed up by Charleys one line, “When the hell are you going to grow up? ” (97) Willy’s spends his entire life in an illusion of a great man with both popularity and successful. Meanwhile, Willy displays many childlike qualities. Many of these qualities have an impact on Willy’s family. His two sons Biff and Happy pick up this behavior from their father. Willys idealistic and stubborn actions stem from a false sense of is importance in the world. Willy is like an impetuous youngster with high ideals and high hopes.

Children always save high hopes for their future, hopes of having great jobs and being rich. Willy believes he can achieve that kind of success by being a businessman. He thinks is he the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest is the one that gets ahead. (33) He avoids growing up by making excuses and avoiding obstacles. Like a little child, he wants everything his way even though other options are wiser. After recently being fired, Charley offers Willy a job.

Rather than financially securing his family, he allows his arrogance to prevent him from working for his friend. He convinces himself he is at the top of his profession. Willy does not get his way and challenges Charley to a fight after Charley told him to grow up. His childlike behavior prevents him from doing the logical thing. Willy, like most children, he thinks that he is more than he actually is. During the story, he prides himself on how well he sells, but when Linda calculates his sales and their debts, Willy reveals that he lied about how well he sells.

He also thinks he is very popular and many people will be at his funeral, but when the times comes, no one is there to pay their respects. Like a child, he believes the world revolves around him. Willy Loman is a child trapped in a man’s body. He makes excuses and lies to prevent himself from doing better. The self-assurance he holds blinds him from reality, trapping him in an illusion. When he finally realizes his mistakes, like a child, he runs from his problems thru death rather than grow up and face them.

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman The Main Conflict

BANG! Your father is dead. Within a few seconds, although he attempted many times, your father dies. He gave up. All the fights, all the disrespect, and all the struggles are behind you. However, all the hope, all the passion, and all the love is still there. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the main conflict is between Willy Lowman and his son Biff. Most of their struggles are based on disrespect; however, much of the tension throughout the play is also caused by the act of giving up. Disrespectfulness is the cause of personal tension in this play.

There are many occurrences where a character is being disrespectful, which triggers emotional and physical conflicts. Throughout the movie, Willy is extremely disrespectful to his wife Linda. He loses his patience every time she talks during a conversation that he is having. When he talks to Biff at the table about his new job opportunities, Linda adds some remarks like, “I’ll make breakfast,” (1853) and Willy loses his control. He turns to her quickly and tells her to shut up. Sometimes he even puts his finger angrily to her face, screaming at her to shut her mouth, even though she is just adding relative comments.

Linda does not lose respect for Willy for his actions as much as Biff does. Biff cares about his mother dearly and does not like to see her being yelled at. He grinds his teeth when he sees his father yell at his mother, because he knows that if he argues, there will be that much more tension between him and his father. However, Biff cannot take it much longer because he is losing respect for his father. He knows his father should never get physical with his mother, and he finally takes action before it gets violent. He grabs Willy by the arm and screams at him not to yell at her. Willy gets angry at first, but then goes to bed guilt-ridden.

Loss of respect can ruin a relationship. Biff left town for many reasons, but one important one had to do with Willy cheating on his wife. During a flashback in the play, Willy is in a room with a woman when Biff knocks on the door. The woman was actually in the washroom as Biff came in, but came out before Biff left. Biff saw the woman and knew that his father was not being loyal to his mother. Biff sat there in shock, and then broke into tears. Biff lost all respect for his father after seeing this. He then told his father not to talk to his teacher about the grade change, and also told him that he’s not going to summer school.

Willy’s unfaithfulness left Biff emotionally distraught, and his actions weren’t just showing disrespect to Biff, but to Linda as well. Disrespect can ruin a relationship, but giving up can end a relationship. Biff was a very determined boy in high school. After finding out about his father’s affair, he decides he had to get away. Biff gave up on college, gave up on football, and gave up on his family. He left town and tried to start a new life. When he came back, he and his father had fights all the time because of his departure. Biff thought that giving up meant that he could just get away from all his problems and have no worries.

However, he came back to find out that his father was trying to kill himself. He then realized how much of an impact giving up on his family did to his father. He knew now that his father was dying and that he could not give up on him again. He tried and tried but his father was not easy to talk to. He even tried to get a job to make his father proud, but failed. He knew giving up ruined his family, but there was nothing he could do. At the end of the play, Biff was in another argument with his father and simply could not take it anymore.

He said, “will you let me go, for Christ’s sake? Will you take that phony dream and burn it before something happens? ” (1885) Once again Biff gave up. He told his father he was leaving in the morning. A few moments after that, Willy killed himself. Disrespect created a lot of tension between Biff and Willy. However, they did not get along to begin with. The fights between them became repetitive, and it ended with them giving up. Biff gave up near the end by telling his father he was leaving; however, Willy is the true coward because he killed himself.

Death of a Salesman – Willy Lomans tragedy

Advancements in science throughout this century have led to tremendous advancements in industry. Advancements in industry, however, have not always led to advancements in living. For some, society has created mass wealth. For most mass society has created a standard of living unparalled throughout histort. For Willy Loman, however, mass society has created only tremendous greif and hardship, agravated by the endless promise. For these reasons, his tragidy is due more to societies flaws than to the flaws in his own character.

Willy Loman was host to many flaws and deficiencies ranging orm suicidal tendencies to phychotic disorders. However, these shortcomings did not account for his tragic end, not by themselves anyway. Soviety is to blame. It was society who stripped him of his dignity, piece by piece. It was society who stripped him of his lifestyle, and his own sons who stripped him of hope. The most obvious flaw in society is greed, the desire to get ahead of the next guy. This malady is present on a national level.

It is the philosophy of business and comprises the dreams of man. Sometimes, this can drive man to great things, sometimes it can drive a man to ruin. Willy was driven to the latter. (Not his own greed for he was a simple man with simple dreams, but by the greed of others. ) The developers who took away the sun and gave birth to shadows, his boss who reduced him to commission and his sons which reduced him to a failure. The next largest flaw in society is a lack of compassion.

This could be as a result of almost overwhelming greed, the main culprit being big business. “I’m always in a race with the junkyard! I just finished paying for the car and it’s on it last legs. The refrigerator consumes belts like a goddam maniac. They time those things. (Act 2, page 73, lines 16-19) Willy’s belief in this statement drew him to believe that big business lacked compassion. It is because of this that he is abandoned by Biff and disowned by Happy, left babbling in a toilet.

It is this flaw which allowed him to die a slow death and played the greatest role in his eventual downfall. The third largest flaw in society (particularly American society) is the lack of a social safety net. A net which identifies people in trouble and seeks to remedy their situations. A body identifies people who are a danger to themselves and others and treats or sedates them. Couple this ith a pension plan and medical care, and Willy Loman might not have met his premature end.

He would have had no reason thanklessly for a company, in a capicity that was “killing” him. Instead, he could have received psychiatric help and recovered from his condition. It was the direct result of the flaws in society which led Willy to his undoing. It was the greed that was ever-pervasive around him that led to his unhappieness. It was the lack of compassion from society which allowed his unhappieness to flourish and which eventually consumed him. In the end, it was the lack of a social safety net which failed to save him from himself.

Death of a Salesman and The Price

When people accept an ideal to live by it can be a glorious and noble thing unless they become so obsessed with the the ideal that it becomes a yolk and they are unable to realize their dream. This is especially true for two characters in Arthur Miller’s plays Death of a Salesman and The Price. In these two plays Miller portays two lower-middle class men , Willie Loman and Victor Franz, respectivelly, who each live by an ideal that ultimately is self-defeating. Willie lived to pursue the American dream rather than living the American dream and Victor lived to serve and be decent rather than living a oble and decent life.

They pursed their ideal rather than living it and thus they are unable to succeed. Willie Loman, in Death of a Salesman,, has lived his life in pursuit of the American dream. Traditionally the American dream meant oppurtunity and freedom for all, and Willie believed that. However, hard work could not earn him everything that he wanted or thoght he deserved. Willy judged himsel and those arround him by theit material accumulation, as is demanded by capitalism and the protestant work ethic. The ethic demands accumulation and work as signs of favor in the eyes of god.

Thus in order to please god and himself he had to accumulate wealth and objects. The consumer oriented society in which Willy lives will not allow him to live the American Dream. Willy is fascinated by accumulating things. His desire fior goods makes him want objects that he neither needed nor could afford. Willy thinks that he needs to buy his wife a new refrigerator and new stockings even though she is content with what they have. As he tries to live the American dream he venerates those who have been successful at doing so, like Thomas Edison, B. F. Goodrich, and Ben, his succesful brother.

Furetheremore he punished those who did not work towards that ideal or accomplish it ,such as Biff, his son, and most importantly himself. The extreme to which he followed the dream brought him to disallusionment and lose sense of reality. Willy created a reality for himself where he “knocked ‘em cold in Providence,” and “slaughtered ‘em in Boston. ”(p. 33) The ultimate result of his disallusionment is his suicide. It is ironic that he dies for his ideals although they are misconstrued.

The problem with Willy’s ideals which ultimately kills him is that he has lost sight of achieving the true goal of the American Dream, happiness and freedom, and the dream took control of him. He struggled to achieve something that he could not; he did not have the talent to be a salesman. He became so obsessed with living the dream that he was unable to be content with his talents in carpentry and with his family.

There is also a manner in which he pusues the Dream. He is a salesman, a profession that is associated with trickery and illusion. He could not pusue a noble dream by doing something that is based in deceit. His quest was cursed from the start and the fact that he lived the quest and not the dream made it worse.

Similarly in Miller’s The Price the main character is a man who tries to life for an ideal and not the ideal . In The Price Victor becomes so obsessed with sacrificing for others that he ultimately fails to please himself . By not achieving for himself he hurts those he is trying to help, his family. Victor devoted his life to serving others at an early age. When he was younger he went to the police academy, a profession that is marked by self- sacrifice for others. Furtheremore he put his brother through medical school even though Victor had more potential in the field.

While his brother Walter was in school Victor cared for their aging father at a great expense to Victor econimically and emotionally. During the time period portrayed by the play Victor is still selfless as he constantly calls tries to make arrangements to include his brother in the business deal to sell off their families estate. Although Walter does not return Victor’s numerous phone calls Victor still refuses to rake the whole amount of money for himself although no one would blame him for doing so. He has a greater need for that money and deserves it, for all his earlier sacrifices for Walter’s sake, but he will not take it.

With ll that sacrifice one would assume that Victor’s family would be pleased however his sacrifices hurt them greatly. Those that he was sacrificing most are hurt most in the end. That is to say that his inability to please himself and to struggle to achieve his goals hurts his family. His wife Esther becomes disgusted by his inability to achieve and his not pusuing medicine caused him to remain a part of the lower- middle working class. Just as Willy does, Victor too, adopts a quest for himself however, he pursues that quest to the point that he loses sight of his original goal – to please others, and ends up hurting them.

Both men have decent and noble intentions however, they both live to fulfill those intentions rather than living and fulfilling the intentions. As a result they both fail to accomplish what they had intended, hurt the ones they love, and themselves. Willy’s obsession with acquiring wealth and being a salesman made it impossible for him to do so. Victor’s insistence on helping others made it impossibe for him to provide the life his wife wanted and deserved . Both men failed because the became so involved in living by impossible standards that they could never reach them and failure has harsh penaltis in both circumstances.

The play ‘Death of A Salesman’ by Arthur Miller

In the play ‘Death of A Salesman’ by Arthur Miller, the main character, Willy Loman experiences intricacy during his elderly age where he struggles to be a good father, husband, friend and salesman. Willy’s struggle throughout the play builds up a path to the end and results in his demise. Willy’s demise is initially brought forth by his continuous struggle. Although, struggle was one of the factors that contributed to Willy’s downfall, the wrong decisions, character traits and poor relationships were major factors leading to his downfall.

However, Willy’s efusal to accept reality, his weak relationship with family members and his fraudulent characteristic instigate his tragic death. Willy’s downfall was a consequence of his inability to accept and recognize reality. His denial of reality was obvious several times through flashbacks and contemporaneous moments. For instance, when Bernard informs Willy about the lack of effort Biff’s puts at school, his wife Linda shares the same opinion as of Bernard’s but Willy responds to Linda by saying: “There’s nothing the matter with him! You want him to be a worm like Bernard?

He’s got spirit, personality… ” (Miller, Page 40) To escape reality, Willy attempts suicide several times by purposely crashing his car and by inhaling hazardous fumes from the heater. However, Willy’s attempts to commit suicide are persistently futile. Also, Willy fails to perceive beyond the plausibility of several matters. He lacks considering the seriousness and importance of numerous issues. He disregards situations that pertain to both his sons, Biff in particular. He judges his sons’ competency by their behavior and fortitude. He imagines they would mature as successful men.

Even though their incompetent attitude was evident through many events and conversations throughout the play, Willy never assessed them for their immoral behaviour. Instead, he would defend them and insist on saying that his sons are very efficient. For instance when Happy proposes the idea of Biff and himself commencing a business together, he instantaneously responds in a pleased manner: “Lick the world! You guys together could absolutely lick the civilized world. ” (Miller, Page 64). Willy’s perseverance for his sons is apparent through the many ways he emonstrates his concern for them.

Willy’s approval to his sons’ behaviour at an immature age is one of the several ways he shows his affection for his sons. Willy’s affection, which he possesses for his sons during their childhood years, later becomes his drawback. As Willy’s sons mature, they grow insubordinate and hold Willy accountable for the disappointments they experience in life. Willy was disheartened by their perception of things and for being held liable for their despondency. Willy’s wife Linda, felt strongly about Willy’s position and accentuated: …

The man who never worked a day but for your benefit? When does he get the medal for that? Is this his reward – to turn around at the age of sixty-three and find his sons, who he loved better than his life… ” (Miller, Page 57). Not only do his sons hold him accountable for their dejection, but they also feel embarrassed by him. For instance, when Willy was to have dinner with them at the restaurant after Biff’s meeting with Bill Oliver, Happy notifies one of the girls he met at the restaurant that Willy was not their father and that he was ‘just a guy’.

Death of a Salesman: Willy’s Escape

No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible, while some attack the problem to get it out of the way. Willy Lowman’s technique in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, leads to very severe consequences. Willy never really does anything to help the situation, he just escapes into the past, whether intentionally or not, to happier times were problems were scarce.

He uses this escape as if it were a narcotic, and as the play progresses, the reader learns that it can be a dangerous drug, because of it’s addictiveness and it’s deadliness. The first time Willy is seen lapsing off into the past is when he encounters Biff after arriving home. The conversation between Willy and Linda reflects Willy’s disappointment in Biff and what he has become, which is, for the most part, a bum. After failing to deal adequately with his feelings, he escapes into a time when things were better for his family.

It is not uncommon for one to think of better times at low points in their life in order to cheer themselves up so that they are able to deal with the problems they encounter, but Willy Lowman takes it one step further. His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind he is transported back in time to relive one of the happier days of his life. It was a time when no one argued, Willy and Linda were younger, the financial situation was less of a burden, and Biff and Happy enthusiastically welcomed their father back home from a long road trip.

Willy’s need for the “drug” is satiated and he is reassured that everything will turn out okay, and the family will soon be as happy as it was in the good old days. The next flashback occurs during a discussion between Willy and Linda. Willy is depressed about his inability to make enough money to support his family, his looks, his personality and the success of his friend and neighbor, Charley. “My God if business doesn’t pick up , I don’t know what I’m gonna do! ” (36) is the comment made by Willy after Linda figures the difference between the family’s income and their expenses.

Before Linda has a chance to offer any words of consolation Willy blurts out “I’m Fat. I’m very–foolish to look at, Linda” (37). In doing this he has depressed himself so much that he is visited by a woman with whom he is having an affair. The woman’s purpose in this point of the play is to cheer him up. She raises his spirits by telling him how funny and loveable he is, saying “You do make me laugh…. And I think you’re a wonderful man. ” (38). And when he is reassured of his attractiveness and competence, the woman disappears, her purpose being fulfilled.

Once again the drug has come to the rescue, postponing Willy’s having to actually do something about his problem. The next day, when Willy is fired after initially going to ask his boss to be relocated is when the next journey into the past occurs. The point of the play during which this episode takes place is so dramatic that willy seeks a big hit of the flashback drug. Such a big hit in fact, that he is transported back to what was probably the happiest day of his life.

Biff was going to play in Ebbets field in the All-Scholastic Championship game in front of thousands of people. Willy couldn’t be prouder of his two popular sons who at the time had everything going for them and seemed destined to live great, important lives, much more so than the “liked, but not well liked” boy next door, Bernard. Willy’s dependency on the “drug” is becoming greater by the hour, at this rate, he cannot remain sane for much longer. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can quickly become a bad thing.

Evidence of this statement is seen during Willy’s next flashback, when the drug he has been using for so long to avoid his problems backfires, giving him a “bad trip”, quite possibly a side effect of overuse. This time he is brought back to one of the most disturbing moments in his life. It’s the day that Biff had discovered his father’s mistress while visiting him on one of his trips to ask him to come back home and negotiate with his math teacher to give him the four points he needed to pass math and graduate high school.

This scene gives the reader a chance to fully understand the tension between Willy and Biff, and why things can never be the same. Throughout the play, the present has been full of misfortune for the most part, while the opposite is true for the past. The reader is left to wonder when the turning point occurred. What was the earth-shattering event that threw the entire Lowman family into a state of such constant tension? Now that event is revealed and Willy is out of good memories to return to. With the last hit of Willy’s supply of the drug spent, what next?

The comparison between Willy’s voyages into the past and the use of a narcotic is so perceptible because of it’s verity. When Willy’s feeling down, or life seems just too tedious and insignificant, or when things just aren’t going his way, why not take a hit of the old miracle drug, memories. The way he overuses his vivid imagination is sad because the only thing it’s good for is enabling Willy to go through one more day of his piteous life, full of bitterness, confusion, depression, false hopefulness, and a feeling of love which he is trying very hard to express to his sons who seem reluctant to accept it.

Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman

Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman explores the ever-elusive American Dream. It is something that we all chase after, yet we have different concepts of it. Willy Lomans vision of the American Dream was a rather distorted one. He was obsessed with reaching this goal. He believed that finding it would make him successful, yet his perception of what the dream was all about ultimately caused his demise. His belief that popularity and risk-taking provide the essential tools for success proved to be a tragic mistake.

Willy grew up believing that being well-liked was important to becoming a success. He thought that popularity could help you charm teachers and even open doors in business. He is proud to learn that flock around Biff and respond to his athletic abilities (Miller 1176). He even scoffs at the nerdy Bernard, who is to focused on his academic success to be popular. Willy believed that this adolescent popularity would ensure Biffs success in his adult life.

Even though Biff fails as an adult, his father still holds on to the ill-conceived notion that a business man Biff met numerous years ago will offer him a job (1213). He believes that his business opportunity will give Biff the chance he needs to recapture his vivacious nature, confidence and popularity he experienced in high school. At one point in the play, Willy meets Bernard again. Bernerd is preparing to argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States (1206).

Sadly, Willy is unable to understand that Bernerd is successful because of hard work and determination. Willy can only wonder about fate and how Bernard turned out to be a successful lawyer and his own popular son Biff is a failure. Willy thought that popularity would be the key to success in his own life as well as the lives of his sons. Another part of Willys misconception about the American Dream is his belief that successful people are daring risk-takers. He often regrets that he turned down his brothers offer to travel to Alaska to make his fortunes.

He also views Biff, the high school athlete, starting a sports company (1215). He thinks that this company will be successful because of Biffs popularity and attractive personality alone. He never considers the possibility that the company may be a failure because of Biffs lack of experience or knowledge. In contrast to these tragic characters, the reader may view Charlie or Bernard. Both of the characters have worked hard and survived the business world, not because of popularity or risk-taking, but because of hard work and perseverance.

Willys distorted view of the American Dream causes many hardships for both him and his family. However, Miller shows the reader that the Dream is possible through the lives of Charlie and Bernard. The tragedy in the life of Willy Loman is that he never realizes that popularity and luck are just a substitution for real work education. His attempts to capture the American Dream fail to provide the contentment he seeks, but rather cause him pain and lead to his demise.

Death of A Salesman – Happy Loman

Happy Loman has grown up to be a well-adjusted man of society. He has developed from a follower to a potentially successful businessman. Throughout his childhood, Happy always had to settle for second fiddle. Willy, his father, always seems to focus all his attention on Happy’s older brother Biff. The household conversation would constantly be about how Biff is going to be a phenomenal football star, how Biff will be attending the University of Virginia and be the big man on campus, how Biff is so adulated among his friends and peers, and so on.

Young Happy was always in Biff’s shadow, always competing for his father’s attention but failing each time. Happy would resort to such antics as laying on his back and pedaling his feet backwards to capture his father’s attention but to no avail. Willy would continue to not take notice of his younger son and maintain his attention on other matters that he thought were of greater importance. Growing up under these conditions is what motivated Happy to be the man he is today. Happy Loman is now a different person from when he lived under the same roof with his father.

Happy is now a self-sufficient, proud, confident, and eloquent gentleman. He has moved out into the city and found an apartment to his liking and an adequate paying job. Happy also has turned into a lady’s man. He has gained what his brother Biff has lost. Spotting a beautiful lady in a restaurant Happy automatically approaches her with the utmost confidence that she shall be joining himself and his family for dinner. “Would you object to a compliment from a stranger? You ought to be on a magazine cover. 1840), Happy smoothly said to the woman.

To be able to approach a beautiful woman, especially a model, a person has to be oozing with self esteem and confidence. Unfortunately the woman was expecting a friend but that did not stop Happy. He continued to smooth talk the woman with lies and eventually wore her down to the point where not only was she going to call her boyfriend and cancel their dinner date but she was going to bring a friend so Biff could also have a date. Happy is also a proud man.

It didn’t matter what his father had done in the past he was always willing to defend Willy’s honor. So proud that he was ready to fight his own brother when Biff began to bad mouth Willy’s dreams at his own funeral. With all these traits Happy has the makings of a successful businessman. He appears hard-working, he is good with people, he sets his goals high, and he has the determination and soul to make it in the business world. “All right, boy. I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream.

It’s the only dream you can have – to come out number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him. ” (1859). With this one statement Happy reveals most of his character traits. The quote reveals his determination to succeed in his future business venture, it reveals his compassionate side and pride he had for his father and for life, and it also reveals that no matter what Happy will persist until his father’s dream comes true. Happy and Biff will be co-owners in their very own sporting goods store.

Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman

No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible, while some attack the problem to get it out of the way. Willy Lowman’s technique in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, leads to very severe consequences. Willy never really does anything to help the situation, he just escapes into the past, whether intentionally or not, to happier times were problems were scarce.

He uses this escape as if it were a narcotic, and as the play progresses, the reader learns that it can be a dangerous drug, because of it’s addictiveness and it’s deadliness. The first time Willy is seen lapsing off into the past is when he encounters Biff after arriving home. The conversation between Willy and Linda reflects Willy’s disappointment in Biff and what he has become, which is, for the most part, a bum. After failing to deal adequately with his feelings, he escapes into a time when things were better for his family.

It is not uncommon for one to think of better times at low points in their life in order to cheer themselves up so that they are able to deal with the problems they encounter, but Willy Lowman takes it one step further. His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind he is transported back in time to relive one of the happier days of his life. It was a time when no one argued, Willy and Linda were younger, the financial situation was less of a burden, and Biff and Happy enthusiastically welcomed their father back home from a long road trip.

Willy’s need for the “drug” is satiated and he is reassured that everything will turn out okay, and the family will soon be as happy as it was in the good old days. The next flashback occurs during a discussion between Willy and Linda. Willy is depressed about his inability to make enough money to support his family, his looks, his personality and the success of his friend and neighbor, Charley. “My God if business doesn’t pick up , I don’t know what I’m gonna do! ” (36) is the comment made by Willy after Linda figures the difference between the family’s income and their expenses.

Before Linda has a chance to offer any words of consolation Willy blurts out “I’m Fat. I’m very–foolish to look at, Linda” (37). In doing this he has depressed himself so much that he is visited by a woman with whom he is having an affair. The woman’s purpose in this point of the play is to cheer him up. She raises his spirits by telling him how funny and loveable he is, saying “You do make me laugh…. And I think you’re a wonderful man. ” (38). And when he is reassured of his attractiveness and competence, the woman disappears, her purpose being fulfilled.

Once again the drug has come to the rescue, postponing Willy’s having to actually do something about his problem. The next day, when Willy is fired after initially going to ask his boss to be relocated is when the next journey into the past occurs. The point of the play during which this episode takes place is so dramatic that willy seeks a big hit of the flashback drug. Such a big hit in fact, that he is transported back to what was probably the happiest day of his life.

Biff was going to play in Ebbets field in the All-Scholastic Championship game in front of thousands of people. Willy couldn’t be prouder of his two popular sons who at the time had everything going for them and seemed destined to live great, important lives, much more so than the “liked, but not well liked” boy next door, Bernard. Willy’s dependency on the “drug” is becoming greater by the hour, at this rate, he cannot remain sane for much longer. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can quickly become a bad thing.

Evidence of this statement is seen during Willy’s next flashback, when the drug he has been using for so long to avoid his problems backfires, giving him a “bad trip”, quite possibly a side effect of overuse. This time he is brought back to one of the most disturbing moments in his life. It’s the day that Biff had discovered his father’s mistress while visiting him on one of his trips to ask him to come back home and negotiate with his math teacher to give him the four points he needed to pass math and graduate high school.

This scene gives the reader a chance to fully understand the tension between Willy and Biff, and why things can never be the same. Throughout the play, the present has been full of misfortune for the most part, while the opposite is true for the past. The reader is left to wonder when the turning point occurred. What was the earth-shattering event that threw the entire Lowman family into a state of such constant tension? Now that event is revealed and Willy is out of good memories to return to. With the last hit of Willy’s supply of the drug spent, what next?

The comparison between Willy’s voyages into the past and the use of a narcotic is so perceptible because of it’s verity. When Willy’s feeling down, or life seems just too tedious and insignificant, or when things just aren’t going his way, why not take a hit of the old miracle drug, memories. The way he overuses his vivid imagination is sad because the only thing it’s good for is enabling Willy to go through one more day of his piteous life, full of bitterness, confusion, depression, false hopefulness, and a feeling of love which he is trying very hard to express to his sons who seem reluctant to accept it.

Death of a Salesman: Symbols in the Play

Many symbols are incorporated into the play “Death of a Sales man” and they in turn relate to both character and theme. The hose, tape recorder and the seeds are some of these symbols. The hose in Miller’s drama directly relates to the theme of d eath. The hose is a line attached to the gas main in Willy’s house which allows him to sniff the gas. This action can be seen as Willy’s suicide wish, and escape from the realities of life. As seen in the loss of his job and his failure to succeed. The hose also represents grief and deception. For when Linda, Willy’s wife, finds the hose, she is distraught over its in tended purpose.

The deceptive nature of the hose is apparent when Willy is confronted about it by Biff his son and Willy denies its existence. A similar denial is also evident when Willy is confronted with the tape recorder in Howard’s office. The tape recorder signifies the change in Willy’s life throug h the advancement of technology. It also represents the end of Willy’s career. This is brought about when Howard, Willy’s boss and godson, shows the tape recorder to Willy and ppe ars to be more interested in the sound and technology of the machine instead of Willy, who i s fighting for his job.

Howard no longer need s Willy’s services and without concern fires him. This, to Willy, was like, “eating the orange and throwing away the peel”. However, Willy is partly to blame, as he does not accept change and wants to remain in the pas t. This is foreshadowed in the scene where Willy is left alone with the tape recorder and is unable to shut it off. Willy believes in using his old techniques and style to succeed. N vertheless, in his job, it is not what you know, but it is who you know.

Willy is not up to date with the business nor technology. Yet, Willy still has hope, and wishes to leave some fo rm of support behind for his family as illustrated in his planting of the seeds. Willy feels that he must leave something behind something for Biff. In Willy’s imaginary world he wants Biff to be magnificent and he symbolically plants seeds in his garden. In spite of such an action he is doomed to fail. Willy sta rts planting the seeds at night, but at night there is no sun shining and this seems ery od d as seeds require light to grow.

What else is strange is the fact that Willy’s house is boxed in between large apartment buildings and is covered by the shadows cast by them. It is evident that no light will fall on Willy’s garden. Willy’s attempt to plant and grow seeds is futile, but he persist in his attempt to seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Thus the hose, tape record er and the seeds are all symbolic of Willy’s dreams gone sour, and his inability to live in the present. His death is inevitable and is mirrored by his life.

Death of a Salesman: The Tragic Anti-hero of Willy Loman

A hundred years from now, it will not matter what type of car I drove, or what kind of house I lived in, or the amount of money I made, yet the world might be changed because I made a positive difference in the life of a child. This increasingly popular statement raises a question for those who might hear it: how does one impact a childs life for the better? A most obvious response would be to simply be a good parent. Yet, with single mothers raising a family alone, good fathers are scarce. What exactly, then, makes a good father?

A good father is one who will encourage and motivate his child, yet not force the child to do something that the child strongly does not want to do. He will discipline his son or daughter in love, but never solely out of anger. He will set an example for his child, being willing to admit his faults and striving to always do what is right. And he will show consistent, unconditional love for his child, never basing his adoration on his son or daughters achievements, mistakes, or ambitions. A good father will strive to always do what is best for his family.

He will put his desires last, ensuring that his family is well cared for and not lacking for any necessities. And, most importantly, a good father will make his family his number one priority, coming before his work, his friends, or even himself. In Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a textbook example of a failure as a good father in every way mentioned previously. Not only is Willy Loman not a good father and husband, but he furthers his failure by being a classic anti-hero and by failing to achieve the American Dream. Willy is not a good father for many reasons.

First and foremost, he has made his occupation his number one priority. For years, he has traveled for his business so frequently that he has never had the opportunity to truly get to know his own sons. As a result, he cannot love them as a father should; his love for Biff has been based on his achievements as an athlete, and, when Biff loses his scholarship, Willy is so devastated that he no longer loves Biff as he once did. He is, in fact, disgusted that Biff has become a cattle herder. He wants Biff to be the success that he never was, and feels that Biff will not achieve success in the occupation he has.

Furthermore, Willy is unable to admit his faults. His pride is so great that he even lies to his own family, borrowing money weekly and then saying it is his salary. He tried, in the past, to justify his affair with a strange woman when caught by Biff. He will not admit that he has made mistakes, for he will not sacrifice his pride. In all respects, Willy has failed to be a good father, or even a father of mediocrity. Instead, as a father, he is a pathetic and selfish failure, which is furthermore defined in every other aspect of his life. Moreover, Willy is a textbook example of an anti-hero.

He has never been successful, even in his prime, yet lives in a daydream of the good old days, refusing to accept reality. The reader therefore strives not to be like the protagonist, but rather, unlike him. He is not respected, even by his sons, and most frequently is disregarded by those around him. Even at his funeral, the only people who attend are his wife, his two sons, and his neighbor, Charley. He never achieved the love of those he interacted with, never gained any honor, and completed his life as a failure, never gaining success in business or in life.

Any reader would desire to be, rather than all that Willy Loman was, all that Willy Loman was not. Finally, Willy fails magnificently at achieving the American Dream. Throughout Americas history, immigrants have come to the United States hoping for a life of prosperity and success, but furthermore, hoping to at the same time take pride in what they do and to enjoy it. In all respects, Willy does not achieve the American Dream. Both affluence and fruition are complete strangers to him, while he sees those around him enjoying a life of well being. He has no pride in what he does, although he masks these emotions.

In truth, he is so embarrassed that he cannot make a single sale or earn a single dollar that he begins borrowing fifty dollars a week from Charley, and then pretending it is his salary. He lies to his family and to himself. He will not allow himself to do what he truly loves to do, carpentry, because he believes that it is more illustrious to be an unsuccessful salesman than be a satisfied carpenter. He therefore fails miserably at the true American Dream, exchanging it for an unachievable fantasy. Willy Loman is a failure as a family man, is an anti-hero, and never achieves the American Dream.

His life is an example of true downfall, which affects all of those close to him. By living in an illusion, Willy guaranteed that he would be unable to achieve all that he thought he should. As a result, his death is the final confirmation of his failed life, and reiterates everything that is stressed in Millers play. Truly, success could never be achieved in his life, even if he had made multitudes of sales. By giving up his dreams and true desires, Willy Loman died long before he crashed his car, and that led him to become every bit the failure that he will always be remembered as.

Willy as a hero or a villain

A large controversy that revolves around the play “Death of a Salesman” is whether or not Willy Loman was actually a hero or a villain in the story. It certainly cannot be said that he is really one or the other because of the evidence that is given throughout. At some times he seems the pitiful victim of other people’s actions but at others he seems to have only himself to blame. Most don’t know whether to feel sorry for him or to hate him. Although there seems to be evidence to support both ideas, there seems to be more pointing in the direction of the latter.

Willy’s first fault concentrates around the affair that he had. Maybe when it first started he had only intended it to be a business relationship, but it didn’t end up that way. Somewhere along the line he let it go further and then didn’t break it off. Many things came of that one affair, that only he caused. First, is the fact that his son, Biff, caught him doing it, and was basically scarred for life from it. It was Willy’s fault that Biff didn’t attend summer school and, as a result, didn’t graduate from high school. Second, is the fact that he was cheating on his wife, therefore being dishonest with her.

Along with hat, was how he treated her all the time at home, almost like she was incredibly inferior to him. Part of it had to do with the fact that he was having an affair, which made him ashamed, the other part was sheer ignorance. He felt that he couldn’t face her because of what he was doing behind her back. The affair that he created was a large part of why Willy could not possibly be thought of as a hero. The second reason why Willy Loman cannot be considered a hero was that he basically encouraged lying. He set the example by doing it himself and also by coming right out and telling his boys that sometimes it was kay to.

Willy lied to his wife about the affair, never actually saying that he wasn’t having one, but never telling her that he was. He also lied to his whole family about his business. He bragged constantly about all of the people he knew and the contacts that he had made throughout the years, as a salesman. When actually, he wasn’t a great salesman and had no contacts anywhere. Willy’s habitual lying to his family was another one of his major faults. Any man who lies to his family and cheats on his wife can certainly not be considered a hero. Villain may be a strong word but, it fits Willy Loman much better that ero.

He seemed like he want to do right by his family but he never seemed to do it, always falling short somehow, mostly through no one’s fault but his own. Essay #3 “flashbacks explain Willy’s motivation” Arthur Miller seems to emphasize the use of frequent flashbacks in “Death of a Salesman” to explain what motivates Willy during his lifetime. Most of Willy’s history was revealed through the flashbacks that he had throughout the story. Without them, Miller would have had to find another way to tell the readers about Willy’s history. Many of them tell the reader why his sons were the way they were and hy he treated them the way he did.

They also showed the reasons why Willy was as pathetic as he was. One of the main reasons Miller includes so many flashbacks in the story is to help the reader understand Willy’s feelings towards his sons. The very first flashback is of Willy talking to Biff and Happy during Biff’s senior year. Biff is telling him about the touchdown that he’s going to score for his father and how proud he’s going to be of him. The reader also sees Happy trying to tell his father about how he’s losing some weight, but Willy doesn’t pay any attention to him, showing the beginning of Happy’s slight esentment because of Willy’s favoritism towards Biff.

During that same flashback, the reader also sees Willy telling his sons about the people he knows and how they should try to make a lot of contacts also. This is the first time it is evident to the reader that he says these things, but it probably wasn’t the first time he actually said it. Just in that first flashback, Miller gives a lot of background information for the reader to go on. Another flashback that had great meaning in why Willy treated Biff the way he did, was when the reader found Willy in the hotel with “The Woman”. The first thing evident is hat Willy is absolutely having an affair.

There was question in the mind of the reader when Willy imagined her in the kitchen with Linda a few scenes earlier, but that scene made it real. The reader comes into the picture when a person is banging on the door, Willy doesn’t want to open it but the woman insists. Willy then goes to the door and finds Biff standing on the other side. He comes in and all is fine until the woman comes out laughing and saying, “Where’s my stockings? You promised me stockings, Willy! ” Biff hears it all and then knows that his father is having an affair. They then have a confrontation and

Biff says that he’s not going to summer school so that he can graduate. That may not seem that important but Willy blamed himself for Biff’s not graduating and seemed to be trying to make it up to him for the rest of his life. That scene gave Willy most of his motivation or lack-thereof for the rest of the story. He always tried to make it up to Biff and tried to hide it from Linda and Happy, all the while feeling ashamed of himself. Lastly, there are many flashbacks that have to do with his brother, Ben. It seems that Ben was the only one that ever took Willy seriously.

That much the reader could see by the way Ben always eferred to him as “William” and not “Willy” as everyone else did. Through these particular flashbacks it is learned that Willy passed up the opportunity to travel with Ben to Alaska and then to Africa, where he made a lot of money. It seems that Willy regretted not going with him and was always trying to do things to live up to Ben’s standards. That constant trying motivated Willy to do well throughout his life. The purpose of the periodic flashbacks in the play is to give the reader a small look into the background of Willy Loman and to try to explain why he was who he was.

They effectively told he reader some of Willy’s personal motivation and maybe explained some of the feelings he had towards his sons. Essay #5 “unable to practice what he preaches” One of the main concepts that Arthur Miller wanted to get across to the readers of “Death of a Salesman” was the fact that the main character, Willy Loman, seemed unable to “practice what he preached”. Willy only wanted the best for his two sons, Biff and Happy, always telling them to do good, but never setting the example himself.

He always told them both to do everything they could to be the best they could and that it always helped to now and be in good contact with a lot of people, letting on that that was the way he did things. But he really didn’t. Willy Loman always told his sons, “It’s all in who you know, boys” even though he really didn’t know anyone. Towards the beginning of the play Willy was talking to Biff and Happy in a flashback, telling them about the people he knew in the towns all around New England. He says, “America is full of beautiful towns and fine, upstanding people.

And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England. And when I bring you fellas up, there’ll be open sesame for all of us, ’cause one thing, oys: I have friends. ” In just that small conversation Willy clearly points out all of the people he knows and emphasizes the fact that that will help them out if they wanted to go there. Even though he says he has these so-called friends, the reader gets the impression that he doesn’t really have any at all. He also asks Biff, in the flashback, how all of the people at school were treating him, if they were acting any different now that he was captain of the team.

He didn’t come out and say it that time, but it was implied that it was important that people knew that Biff was of great importance to the team. Meanwhile the reader knows Willy is not of great importance to his company. If it wasn’t clear at that time it became crystal clear when Willy went to see Howard, his boss, about not having to go on the road anymore. He told him that he was tired of traveling and asked him if he had thought of a position at the company for him. That’s when Howard said that he couldn’t think of a single spot for him. He also said, “I don’t want you to represent us.

I’ve been meaning to tell you that for a long time now. ” Showing, obviously, that he hadn’t been doing a good jog selling in New England and hadn’t been for quite some ime. Many of these things prove that Willy didn’t have the friends and contacts that he claimed and emphasized his boys to have. Willy Loman also told his sons that nothing was more important than being successful and making a lot of money, preferably in something he approved of. As the story of the small family progresses the reader comes to understand that Willy does not approve of Biff’s work on a ranch.

He felt that at Biff’s age of 34, he should have found himself and should have been settled into a good paying job. In a conversation with Linda he says, “How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A armhand? But it’s been more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week! ” Biff says earlier that he was happy where he was but that small, seemingly unimportant fact makes no difference to Willy. All he knows is that Biff isn’t making very much money and that upsets him. While Willy himself isn’t making enough to cover the monthly bills, certainly showing that he’s not very successful.

Although Biff wasn’t making money, it seemed that Happy was doing very well, but Willy never seemed to notice or if he did, he never said anything to Happy to let him know that he had noticed. Willy got down n Biff and didn’t even recognize Happy’s success while all the while not being a successful man himself. Willy Loman preached and preached to his sons about being successful and making a lot of money, while doing neither himself. Also telling them to get to know many important and well off people so that they could help them sometime. Which he never did, either.

But he led them to believe that he did, so they didn’t think less of him. Maybe in his mind he thought that he did do all of those things, but in fact he didn’t and it was extremely evident throughout the whole story. Essay #8 “purpose of the Requiem” At the end of “Death of A Salesman” the reader is left with a lot of loose ends about each character and what they will do in the future. If Arthur Miller hadn’t added the “Requiem” they would have stayed slightly confused and still wondering. But it was, and the reader found out about Biff and Happy, Linda and even Willy, himself.

It was a question throughout the whole story if Biff was going to stay at home and work with his brother or if he was going to go back to the ranch. If it happened that he did go back, would Happy go with him or stay and continue what he was doing? These questions were not irectly answered in the Requiem but from things that the characters said the reader could come to a pretty safe conclusion. Once Biff says to Happy, “Why don’t you come with me, Happy? ” clearly showing that he was planning on going back to the ranch.

Also pointing out that he has only the best intentions for his brother, thinking of his happiness. But in response to his question Happy replies, “I’m not licked that easily. I’m staying right in this city, and I’m gonna beat this racket. ” Happy feels that Biff wants him to run away from any problems that he has at home, when all Biff really wants im to do is get away for awhile. The two brothers seem to represent Willy and his brother, Ben, many years back. Ben was traveling to Alaska and wanted Willy to join him, but he refused and seemed to regret it for the rest of his life.

The reader can’t help but wonder if Happy will regret not going with Biff and will just continue to follow in his father’s fatal footsteps. Without the addition of the Requiem the reader would not have know what Biff and Happy were going to do and would not have any insight as to what would happen to them in the future. Next, it is revealed how Linda was coping with the loss of her usband. She seemed confused and distraught right after the burial. Confused, mainly because of the lack of people at the burial service.

She asked why no one had come and said, “But where were all the people he knew? She had not yet realized the Willy hadn’t known that many people, important or otherwise. She seemed also to have no emotion when it came to his death, she even said, many times, “Forgive me dear, I can’t cry. ” She just kept going over the fact that she couldn’t understand why he did it and that she had just paid off the last payment on the house. The last payment represents that he ouldn’t have had to worry about scraping together enough money to pay that along with all the other things. His life, in other words, would have been a little easier.

Eventually, she finally broke down, sobbing about finally being free. Lastly, we find out about the not-so-great salesman, Willy Loman. His whole life he told his wife and children about all the people he knew and how that was the only way to be successful, when he really didn’t know anyone. It was always implied that Willy thought if he died it would show his family how many people he knew, because they would all come to the funeral. It was like his final push to let his sons know that it was important to know a lot of people.

But that last “wish” was not fulfilled, because no one showed up. It actually turned out to be a final humiliation for Willy Loman. The reader knew that Willy didn’t really know anyone, but the Requiem proved it by telling what happened at the funeral. The formal definition of “requiem” is a mournful chant. The Requiem of this story seemed to fit that definition perfectly. Leaving Willy in final humiliation, leaving Linda an unhappy widow and leaving Biff and Happy doomed to the life of their predecessors.

Arthur Miller’s Death Of a Salesman Exposes Morals and Values of American Culture

Arthur Miller’s play, “Death Of a Salesman” is a very elaborate play that tells the story of a man’s dream to achieve greatness from nothing. It almost seems to make fun of American society’s competitive nature, “Imagine? When the mail comes he’ll be ahead of Bernard again! ” Willy(1215) The title “Death Of a Salesman” leaves nothing to the imagination of how this play ends. Indeed this is a story about the noble, cowardly death of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman. Arthur Miller used the efficient idea of using flashbacks to allow the play to take place within a few days instead of years.

Willy Loman as the central character, lives with his wife, Linda and has two sons, Biff (elder) and Happy. Willy Loman who is quite literally a “low man” has so many personality traits accurate to real life, this is no surprise since Miller based Willy’s character on his uncle, Manny Newman. Miller said, “That homely, ridiculous little man had after all never ceased to struggle for a certain victory, the only kind open to him in society – selling to achieve his lost self as a man with his name and his son’s name on a business of his own”

Willy was defiantly in a struggle however, he was certainly not in a struggle to convince himself he was doing better than he really was, “I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own. ” Willy (1165). Willy Loman did not want to die, he went to Ben to seek approval of what he thought would please the family”… Ben, I want you to go through the ins and outs of this thing with me. I’ve got nobody to talk to, Ben, and the woman has suffered, you hear me? ” Willy (1210) He also proved this with his many “near incidents” and the rubber pipe.

According to “Suicide:The facts and myths” by Judi Marks, “Attempted suicides are a sorrowful form of communication, but they’re also trial runs for the final event. ” Anyone who commits suicide actually does not want to die and reality, just wants a solution to end their problems orpains. In this case Willy’s problem was he thought he was sowell-liked by society, however what he wanted most was forhis sons to like him, and for his wife to not have to suffer his torment anymore. His suicide could have been prevented.

John mason Brow said, “miller’s play is a tragedy modern, and personal, not classic; its central figure is a little man sentenced to discover his smallness rather than a big man undone by his greatness. ” This Is an excellent point, Willy was so sure of himself being so well-liked and having personal attractiveness. He believes he is so successful and thinks so highly of himself. However Willy keeps getting closer and closer to realizing he is not a great as he thought. The more he knows this the more closer to death he is.

The quote uses the term “sentenced” which is a very accurate word implying Willy is being passed judgment on, he is being banished from society for life as they all leave him behind, alone and isolated. Starting with Howard taking his job away, then Biff and Happy leaving him behind in the restaurant, and finally Linda went to bed when she could have seen that Willy was going to kill himself and instead she should have stayed with him and encouraged him. The play can be seen from 2 points of view regarding Willy.

Willy could be a hero or he could be a pathetic fool with no achievements. Willy can be seen as a a pathetic fool because he could not make his success in life so he had to play make-believe as if a child. “He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong. ” Biff (1216) Eventually when life gets hard and he realizes what an inconvenience he really is, he kills himself. It is a quick escape from his problems. When Willy died he expected to have a huge memorial just like the Dave Singlman character he so admired.

When Willy was discussing with Ben what he should do he describes what his funeral might be as being exactly like he described Daves, “… he thinks I’m nothing, see,, and so he spites me. But the funeral–Ben, that funeral will be massive! They’ll come from Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire! … That boy will be thunder struck, Ben, because he never realized–I am known! Ben, and he’ll see it with his own eyes once and for all.

He’ll see what I am,… ” Willy (1210) Willy as a hero comes in place, Happy said at Willy’s funeral, “… I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. he had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have–to come out number-one man. he fought it out here… ” (1216) When it is obvious that Willy only killed himself to free his family of his burden and to provide Biff a chance at business success. It was a sacrifice, he gave up his life to give freedom and hope to his family.

“We’re free… We’re free” Linda (1217) According to “The Family Constellation” by Alfred Alder, Happy really takes his place in the play. “A second child… ends to compete more aggressively for attention and the feeling of self-worth that goes with it. The second child often avoids areas where the first one has succeeded, and often succeeds where the first one has failed. ”

In the end at the restaurant scene when Biff knew he could not follow Willy and his version of success, Happy took the part with no hesitations, he started lying, creating a bit of a dream world, going off with women (a parallel to Willy’s adultery), he even told the women that he did not know who the rambling man was, it was his father.

Unfortunately Happy is doomed to repeat his father’s mistakes. “Death of a Salesman” shows both family and society conflicts. It is most effective when looked at as exposing society. It causes you to evaluate the morals and values of this culture. It reminds us that what we prioritize and hold most important can cause irreversible damage to the ones we hold dear. The play is depressing, but a truthful reflection of our materialistic society.