The main theme of the plot seemed to be Willy reaching for the "American Dream". Financial success, business success, outwardly perfect family, revered by your peers, and in general respected by all. Early on in the play two things are evident to the reader; Willy's questionable mental status, and his tumultuous relationship with his sons.
Willy is apparently suffering from some sort of mental or emotional issues. These issues are causing him to conversations with his brother Ben, who has already passed away, and re-play past events in his mind. At times, Willy speaks aloud to his brother and even when re-living moments with Biff. Biff and Willy are obviously harboring ill feelings towards one another, but neither are willing to bring the reason into light. In Act II we discover Biff had discovered his father was having an extra-marital affair. Biff, already distraught over not graduating, was crushed. He idolized his father and could not believe he would do this to his mother. To spite his father, Biff did not finish school and Willy took this as spitting on him. Through the years the resentment grew to the point they had a non-existent relationship.
Willy's relationship with his sons is a contributing point to both the plot and characterization. It seems neither one has lived up to the dreams he has for them. I believe he wanted to live through them and actually have them fulfill his dreams for himself. Since his ...
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... Miller managed to create a play where his audience could truly feel emotion for the characters. Miller had wanted Willy's life to be held within a dream of possibility and for Willy to embrace his world of illusion (Bigsby 319). I feel he was able to do this with his wonderful ability to help the reader become emerged in the plot. His characterization made his characters seem tangible. The music and lighting descriptions helped to make the scene come alive.
Bigsby, C. W. E. “Death of a Salesman.” Arthur Miller: A Critical Study. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005. 100-123.
Foll, Scott. "Conflict and Meaning" 2000 Web.
Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." 1949. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: W.W. Norton &ump;, 2012. 238-303. Print.
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