In expressing the emotions that Manny Newman inspired through the fictional character of Willy Loman, Miller managed to touch deep chords within the national psyche. He transformed the story into one of the most successful dramas in the history of the American stage.
Willy is an explorer — conqueror of the New England territory — and a dreamer, and this allows the audience to connect with him because everyone has aspirations, dreams, and goals. New York and Boston in The way in which this theme informs the play is also the key to its form, since Willy constantly relives the past through a series of flashbacks.
Fighting a world pitted against him, he fulfills his destiny and sacrifices himself for his son by paying a debt in blood.
Willy is not an invincible father or a loyal husband or a fantastically successful salesman like he wants everyone to believe. Each time Willy loses himself in the past, he does so in order to deny the present, especially if the present is too difficult to accept. A half century after it was written, Death of a Salesman remains a powerful drama.
Although the war had ostensibly engendered an unprecedented sense of American confidence, prosperity, and security, the United States became increasingly embroiled in a tense cold war with the Soviet Union. Willy makes the error of celebrating popularity over know-how, style over substance.
Although most do not commit suicide in the face of adversity, people connect with Willy because he is a man driven to extreme action. Yet, although he remains misguided, Willy achieves the stature of a tragic hero.
He labels Biff a "lazy bum" but then contradicts himself two lines later when he states, "And such a hard worker. These scenes present Biff and Happy as they appeared in high school, providing the audience with a glimpse into the happy past that shaped the unhappy present. He produced his first great success, All My Sons, in His third wife was the photographer Inge Morath.
Biff realizes that success entails working at an enjoyable job, which for him means working on a farm, outdoors, with his shirt off. He fails to appreciate his wife.
Implicit within this dream, however, is the assumption that money leads to fulfillment, regardless of the type of work that one does in order to attain it.
The play examines the cost of blind faith in the American Dream. Walter Lee Younger, the patriarch who dreams of owning a liquor store, bears comparison to Willy Loman in his desire to see both himself and his children rise in the world.
Willy, however, remains imprisoned by a set of false ideals.
Newman refused to accept failure and demanded the appearance of utmost confidence in his household. Nevertheless, the end is not entirely bleak: While Willy himself was never successful as a salesman, he remains confident that his son Biff will be able to make it big in business because of his good looks and his past glory as a high school football star.A concise biography of Arthur Miller plus historical and literary context for Death of a Salesman.
Death of a Salesman: Plot Summary A quick-reference summary: Death of a Salesman on a single page. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is a commentary upon society in relation to the painful conflicts of a working class family in New York, who throughout their life has struggled to make a decent living and fulfil the American dream.
The play illustrates its critical commentary on American society through Willy’s obsession with the Dream. Analysis of Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' Words | 6 Pages.
Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman was a hit nearly from its debut, and its importance to American literature and theater has not diminished in the over half a century since its first performance in Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man's inability to accept change within himself and society.
The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life. The three major themes within the play are denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder.
Death of a Salesman, Miller’s most famous work, addresses the painful conflicts within one family, but it also tackles larger issues regarding American national values. The play examines the cost of blind faith in the American Dream.
Literary Devices in Death of a Salesman Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory Death of a Salesman takes place primarily within the confined landscape of the Lomans’ home.Download