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The Significance of Music in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

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The Significance of Music in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman 

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 Willy’s 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 Ben’s first visit to Willy’s house. His story of father and his flute-making business sets a warm tone only to be wrecked by Ben’s action of throwing Biff, a young, curious boy, to the ground, helplessly. The final performance of this tune is heard at Willy’s 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 confu...

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...illy’s 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.

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