Preview
Preview

The Automobile in Death of a Salesman Essay

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 1661 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Automobile in Death of a Salesman

 
     In modern society, most Americans own an automobile. In the wealthier households, a family of four may own as many as three to four automobiles, one for each driver living in the house. However, the automobile has not always been a staple of living in America.  In the 1940s, a family with an automobile was considered well-to-do, as well as wealthy and hard-working.  It is during this time period that Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, is set. Miller gives the reader a glimpse into the life of Willy Loman, and in doing so provides an intriguing insight into the common American family of the time. Willy Loman is the everyman, constantly pursuing the “American Dream.” Part of the “American Dream” constitutes owning an automobile, which the Lomans do.  However, the importance of the automobile in this play reaches far beyond ownership. In the first scene it is addressed when Willy’s wife Linda asks him worriedly if he has smashed the car. In the closing scene, Willy commits suicide by smashing his car into a tree. In Death of a Salesman, the automobile plays a major role, functioning both as a symbol and a tangible manifestation of the “American Dream.” 

 

In the opening lines of Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman worries that something has “happened” to her husband Willy.  After Willy assures her that “nothing happened,” Linda asks, “You didn’t smash the car did you?”. This initial exchange sets up the significant role the automobile will have in the events of the play. In Linda’s mind, she instinctively makes the leap from a problem with Willy to a problem with the automobile. Although she is anxious about the state of the family car, Linda is not a materialistic or s...


... middle of paper ...


...n depicts another outmoded character in a society on the brink of great social change.

 

 

Works Cited and Consulted:

 

Lhannon, Jr., W. T. Deliberate Speed: The Origins of a Cultural Style in the American 1950s. Washington: Smithsonian Inst. P., 1990.

 

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Viking P, 1966.

 

Oakley, J. Ronald. God’s Country: America in the Fifties. New York: Dembner Books, 1990. 245.

 

Murphy, Brenda and Susan C. W. Abbotson. Understanding Death of a Salesman: A Student Handbook to Cases, Issues and Historical Documents. The Greenwood Press “Literature in Context” series, Claudia Durst Johnson, series editor. Westwood, CT, London: 1999.

 

Guth, Hans P. and Gabriel L. Rico.  1993.  Discovering Literature.  “Tragedy and the Common Man” by Arthur Miller.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Impact of Ben Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman Essay - The Impact of Ben Loman’s Character on Theme and Character Development in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman Some characters in literature who only appear briefly in the work can have a tremendous impact on the literature. These characters have a significant presence in the literary work. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Ben Loman is that character. Ben is the brother of the main character Willy. Though Ben has a brief part in this play, he affects the theme and development of other characters....   [tags: Death Salesman] 483 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Willy Loman's American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman - Willy Loman's American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman   Short Essay One     Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman focuses on the American Dream, or at least Willie Loman’s version of it. *Willie is a salesman who is down on his luck. He "bought into" the belief in the American Dream, and much of the hardship in his life was a result. *Many people believe in the American Dream and its role in shaping people’s success. Willy could have been successful, but something went wrong. He raised his sons to believe in the American Dream, and neither of them turned out to be successful either....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 671 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Destruction of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman - Destruction of the American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman A white picket fence surrounds the tangible icons of the American Dreams in the middle 1900's: a mortgage, an automobile, a kitchen appliance paid for on the monthly - installment - plan, and a silver trophy representative of high school football triumph. A pathetic tale examining the consequences of man's harmartias, Arthur Miller's "Death of A Salesman" satisfies many, but not all, of the essential elements of a tragedy....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Essays] 822 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Comparison of Death of a Salesman and The Glass Menagerie Essay - Example: I asked Gina to accept my hand in marriage. She then smiled and as I awaited her response, her face appeared to diffuse just as leisurely as a dinner candle that is dripping its’ melting wax onto the fibers of an Egyptian, cotton tablecloth. The sentence example preceding this paragraph can be perplexing to any reader when any additional details are not given that describe the context in which this sentence has been written. Devoid of any transition in the opening sentence of this paper, the audience may not be able to discern whether the actions in the sentence are real or part of a dream or some alternate reality....   [tags: Writing Techniques, Playwrights]
:: 1 Works Cited
871 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Death of a Salesman, a Film Review Essay - Death of a Salesman is probably one of Arthur Miller's greatest achievements. This play describes the sixty-three-year-old protagonist Willy Loman, a rounded and psychologically motivated individual. Willy is also a familiar American Philistine and even a universal type. He embodies the stupidity, immorality, self-delusion, and failure of middle-class values Miller portrays as being sterile and vicious. At the same time Willy's love of his delinquent sons, however harmful and wrongly expressed has made him "a King Lear in mufti." The transparent skeletal settings may be altered instantaneously; they modify naturalism into an expressionistic and dreamlike dramatization of Willy's free associa...   [tags: American Literature] 512 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Death Of A Salesman 10 - 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....   [tags: essays research papers] 771 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Death of a Salesman Essay - It is known that in literature, a tragedy is one of the most popular genres. It always combines some story which discusses human sufferings with a certain sense of audience fulfillment. The roots of the tragedy are related to ancient Greece. A Greek tragedy is a sad story, which represents a character with a tragic flaw leading to his downfall. In addition, in traditional tragedy, the main character falls from high authority and often it is predetermined by fate, while the audience experiences catharsis (Bloom 2)....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1644 words
(4.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The American Dream in Death of a Salesman - "The American Dream" is based on the 'Declaration of Independence´: 'We believe that all men are born with these inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.´ (Thomas Jefferson, 1776). This 'dream´ consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, regardless of birth or wealth; you work hard enough you will achieve anything. However, Miller says people have been 'ultimately misguided´. The origins of the American Dream seem to have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the 18th and 19th century immigrants, most of whom came to America because of a promise of a new and better life....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1563 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The American Dream Conspiracy in Death of a Salesman Essays - Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of the failure of a salesman, Willy Loman. Although not all Americans are salesmen, most of us share Willy’s dream of success. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must outnumber successes.(Samantaray, 2014) Miller amalgamates the archetypal tragic hero with the mundane American citizen. The result is the anti-hero, Willy Loman. He is a simple salesman who constantly aspires to become 'great'....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]
:: 3 Works Cited
1739 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy - Death of a Salesman - A Modern Day Tragedy The question which arises within Death of a Salesman is, 'Is this a modern Tragedy?' A tragic play can be commonly observed when a protagonist falls from a great height. His decline is not about immediate death, although in most cases death becomes apparent at the end of the play, e.g. Macbeth. A tragedy shows the suffering of a character and utter compulsion of him if he does not succeed to reach his dream. These plays show the blissful release from intolerable suffering this character feels....   [tags: Death of a Salesman] 1182 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]