Death of a Salesman

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Death of a Salesman

“The American dream is, in part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living but a good living.” Said David Abrahansen. This is true and appropriate in the case of Willy Loman, and his son Biff Loman. Both are eager to obtain their American dream, even though both have completely different views of what that dream should be. The play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller shows the typical lives of typical Americans in the 1940’s. Miller’s choice of a salesman to be the main character in this play was not a coincidence, since it represents the typical middle-class working American, some of which have no technical skills what so ever. Miller’s play gives us insides on the daily lives of many Americans, this through the eyes of Willy and Biff Loman, he also shows what kind of personalities, what dreams they have, and their different points of view of what the American dream means.
Willy Loman is a sixty-one years old who has been taken off salary, put on straight commission and eventually fired from the Wagner Company because he is no longer effective. In the story he is portrait as a tragic figure that’s largely to blame for his own downfall. He puts his wife Linda into the position where she is totally dependent on him. Because Willy has an incorrigible inability to tell the truth, even to himself, and an unreasonable mode of thinking, he justifies his death by saying that his sacrifice will save his sons, particularly Biff; he believes that the insurance money they collect will be a tangible remembrance of him.
Willy’s dream was to become like Dave Singleman, who was a very popular salesman, liked by his clients and, able to do business by just making a phone call. Because he was so well liked, when Singleman died, customers from all over his region came to his funeral. Willy dared to believe that his funeral would be similar to Singleman's. Throughout his life, Willy believed that if one were attractive and well liked, everything would be perfect. The doors would automatically open for such a man, and he was sure to be successful. Willy’s American dream was to become rich and famous through his sales, a dream that consumed his life, making him live in an imaginary world where he would often talk to himself.

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