Death Of A Salesman Analysis Essay

analytical Essay
1661 words
1661 words

The Dream, the Truth
This paper will be an analytical, interpretive essay about Death of a Salesman (1949), the most profound work by author and playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005). Death of a Salesman received the Pulitzer Prize for drama, the year of its creation and has been reproduced over seven-hundred times. This analysis will concentrate on Willy Loman the central character of the play but also on the play as a whole. It will show that Arthur Miller’s critiques of American society still hold true to this day. That he was not just making a statement about the corporate social structure failing those that served it, or about how the American Dream in which those agencies perpetuate was dying. He was stating that the American Dream had never existed at all.
Miller’s interpretations on these subjects were not only true of the changing world at the time of the plays inception but have with an eerily truth echoed through to the present day. According to the cultural context in the LIT Student Edition “at the time, Death of a Salesman was written in 1949 the United States was experiencing the largest economic expansion in its history. After World War II, soldiers were returning home and women were leaving the factories where they held jobs while the men were away fighting the war. More and more consumer goods were being made and manufactured and as a result, companies were being consolidated, large impersonal corporations were taking over the mom and pop businesses.
The foot soldiers for these companies were the traveling Salesman who moved from town to town and covered large territories in a relentless effort to produce sales” (LIT.ED 606). Miller was showing us how these “impersonal corporations” didn’t care abo...

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...upply to cover their costs of living. As dysfunctional and backwards as all of this might seem there is still one thing we have omitted from this equation. And it is this element of the structure which reveals the truly fraudulent nature of the system itself, the application of interest.”
Regardless if you want to believe or not, we are all slaves, we are not free, we do not live in a free nation and it is this that Arthur Miller knew, it was what he wanted to express through Death of a Salesman. Through Willy, he wanted to show us that like most of us Willy too believed in the American Dream it is why he worked his whole life away, it is why we choose to attend work, or college, to become a teacher or a student. But just like Willy, we are being manipulated into believing in something that is a lie, a fairy tale, something that is as fictional as Willy himself.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the paper will be an analytical, interpretive essay about death of a salesman, the most profound work by author and playwright arthur miller.
  • Analyzes how miller's interpretations on these subjects were true of the changing world at the time of plays' inception and have with an eerily truth echoed through to the present day.
  • Analyzes how miller shows how these "impersonal corporations" didn't care about the veterans who were sixty years old and slaved every day of their life for them.
  • Analyzes how critics of "death of a salesman" have criticized willy loman's portrayal of the american dream as irrational and ridiculous.
  • Analyzes how the central motive of the play is to critique american society as the corrupted remnant of a pioneer vision. if the willys whom miller evidently finds in our society have destroyed the rustic happiness that miller appears to see in the american past, they deserve their fates.
  • Explains that willy has been working his whole life for the same company. he is sixty years old and still trying to work which is made clear by the following excerpt from death of a salesman.
  • Opines that if old man wagner was alive, he'd have been in charge of new york. but that boy of his, that howard, don't appreciate.
  • Analyzes how willy's short excerpt shows how he needs to work and at the same time, shows a crucial statement, namely, that his situation is improving. howard, wagner’s son, is in control of the company.
  • Analyzes how willy is depressed because he is at a point in his life where 'he can't push himself'. he was raised with the idea that if you worked hard then you would be successful.
  • Analyzes how the bureau of labor statistics predicts that the labor force participation for the elderly will increase in 2014 and has been on a steady increase over the last few decades.
  • Analyzes how corporations have froze, lost, and stolen millions of american's retirement pensions forcing them to keep working.
  • Analyzes how willy's belief that being "well liked" would make one successful is just one of the many american social critiques throughout the play.
  • Explains that people define their "self" using the concept of the looking glass: we act like mirrors to each other. willy feels he has to be liked and successful based on the judgments that others have of him.
  • Analyzes how willy perpetuates these ideas of himself and with blameless reason, wants those he cares for to think highly of him. these judgments are due to the standards that corporations have produced and that society has internalized.
  • Analyzes how the american dream is a lie, and how it is represented through willy lowman.
  • Explains that the monetary system is the social structure upon which all other structures are built, but how it works forces us all into being slaves.
  • Explains that money is created out of debt through loans, and reserves are derived from deposits and through a fractional reserve system.
  • Analyzes how arthur miller wanted to express the american dream through death of a salesman. we are being manipulated into believing in something as fictional as willy himself.
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