Death Of A Salesman Analysis

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"Willy Lomans life is just a meeting point, containing as it does, the contradictions of a culture whose dream of possibility has foundered on the banality of tus actualization, a culture that has lost its vision of transcendence, earthing it's aspirations so severely in the material world." (Bigsby pg. 1) Arthur millers story Death of a Salesman gives us a profile of a once well known man to a troubled father and husband to his family. Willy has a firm belief in what he thinks the perfect American Dream would be like and exactly how his sons biff and happy would achieve this dream. Willy believed good looks, material goods, and likeability would guarantee his sons this dream. Willy's perspective will eventually lead to his fall as the protagonist of the story. Willy also lies about many things throughout the story to make his image look better than he really is, "Linda asks how much Willy has sold and although he initially lies about the amount, Linda patiently waits for the truth, which is that he has barely made enough to pay the bills." (Arthur Miller)

Willy's American dream is to be known to everyone and financially successful. Willy doesn't believe in hard work and honesty to achieve the highest respect but instead focuses on personal appearance and social judgement. "He worries that people do not like him, admitting that people seem to respect Charlie which talks less, but Linda cheers him up, insisting that he will be fine." (Arthur miller) Willy's view of how to achieve the dream is a flawed one and he doesn't want to admit one bit of it. Willy plays his sons as to be the greatest and the worst failures in life sometimes. "Willy boasts that his sons will achieve more than Bernard becuase they are more attractive and bet...

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... in Modern Drama,” where he finds all great drama to be concerned with one big problem: “How may a man make the outside world a home?” What does he need to do, to change himself or in the external world, if he is to find the “the safety, the surroundings of love, the ease of the soul, the sense of identity and honor which, evidently, all men have connected in their memories with the idea of family?” (Jacobson)

"Willy’s failure is our failure, for we are also involved in the cult of success, and we, too, measure men by occupational attainment rather than by some sympathetic calculus of the whole human being. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must by definition outnumber successes, given our cultural ground rules and or singular interpretations of the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’.”
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