Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller Essay

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller Essay

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In a classic moment of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, we find Willy Loman and his two sons wondering about the fate of the people of New York, and themselves. In this moment, one of the most heart-rending and emotional lines of the play is generated, by Biff, the son of Willy, about a third, unimportant character. Biff says: “He’s liked, but he’s not well liked.”1 This is used throughout the rest of the play to demonstrate importance or a sense of worth, but it is never more intense and touching as when Biff says it here. It sets the tone for the rest of the play, especially for the life of Willy Loman, who was always liked, but not necessarily well liked. This is the tragic nature of the play. The American dream is never fully realized by the children and the wife. They do not truly realize what Willy has to offer. Death of a Salesman is the play of hardship, loss, and unfulfilled dreams in American drama, and it is in this manner that the tragedy is realized.
Some might have viewed the death of Willy Loman as pathetic. Certainly, it is easy to view him as such. Here, we have a man who is disrespected by his sons, by his work, and even by his wife. In every way, he seeks to gain power, however, the world around him does not deal the way it did during his golden days. Willy Loman is a man who attempts to use power in a world which no longer accepts it. Gone are the days where the strong man rules; today is the day of the intellectual, of the school-man. Willy’s boss Howard is a perfect example of this. Willy has worked for the company for decades, and yet, Willy is still no better respected in life than he was when he began. The sad and strange scene begins when Howard shows him his Dictaphone: “Sure, they’re only a hundred...


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...l solitude in American life. As such, he has built so many things in his mind, so many years of expectations and so many decades of disappointment. There is no version of Willy Loman which is truly real, and no version of Willy Loman which will ever truly be free of the shame and trappings of the life he has tried to build for himself. For Arthur Miller, Willy Loman’s death, the death of the salesman, is the tragic death of all who believe. It is the death of the American dream and the death of the perfect life we all wish to achieve. The American dream is no longer what we make of it; instead, it is what it makes of us.


References
1. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Published 1949. Ebook. http://ebookbees.com/the-death-of-a-salesman-free-ebook/
2. Mosely, Merrit. “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.” The American Dream. Bloom’s Literary Themes. 2009. 47-56.

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