Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Analysis of "Death of a Salesman" The tragedy of a family the play

"Death of a Salesman" was written by Arthur Miller in 1949. He was

born on October 17, 1915 in New York City. Most of Miller's works

emphasizes the common man struggling through the misconceptions and

false illusions that modern society imposes.

In the case of "Death of a Salesman", Miller uses social realism,

which is the attempt to describe human behaviour and surroundings or

to represent figures and objects exactly as they act or appear in


The main themes of this play are the idea of the American dream and

what it takes to success, the struggle to distinguish between reality

and illusion, and the emotional problems of the family. "Death of a

Salesman" is the story of the Loman family, especially Willy, trying

to accomplish the American dream, but with no success.

Willy Loman is married to Linda, and his two sons are Biff and Happy.

Other characters as Ben, Charley, Bernard, and the women in the hotel

play a major role in Willy's downfall through the story. Willy has

always wanted to be successful and well liked among people, but he has

not accomplished anything. Miller presents a common man, Willy, as the

tragic character of the play. In an article Miller states, "I think

the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a

character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one

thing - his sense of personal dignity". In this article Miller clearly

conveys that a person will sacrifice anything, even his or her own

life, to protect his or her dignity. In "Death of a Salesman" Willy is

willing to sacrifice anything to accomplish his dreams of being

successful and known as a powerful salesman.

The play starts with Willy returning home from a sales trip. He is

getting old and tired of travelling long distances. His two sons, Biff

and Happy, are visiting the family.

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