The Theme of Dishonestly in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

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The Theme of Dishonestly in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman 'Death of a Salesman' was written by Arthur Miller in 1949. It is set in the American states of Boston and New York during the 1930's great depression. The American great depression was the greatest economic collapse in the modern world. Businesses and banks closed their doors, people lost their jobs, homes, and savings, and many depended on charity to survive. Through this the 'American Dream' was created - the idea of a 'perfect' life, where every man owns a business and has the prefect family with the perfect house. 'Death of a Salesman', tells the story of a travelling salesman, Willy Loman, who experiences frustration and failure as he reflects upon his life. In the play Arthur Miller tries to present the theme of dishonesty by the means of the characters, language and the stage directions. The characters in the play are important in creating the theme of dishonesty. I am firstly going to be looking at them and how dishonesty is represented through them. The main characters in the play present the theme of self-deception in where the fail to recognise the truth, usually because it would be painful and difficult for them to handle. They also lie to each other. The main characters in the play are Willy Loman, his wife, Linda, and his two sons Biff and Happy. Firstly, I will be focusing on the most central character in the play, Willy Loman. Miller presents the theme of dishonesty through Willy very early in the play. Willy lies about his job to most people including his family. He lies about his earnings to Linda "I did five hundred gross in Providence an... ... middle of paper ... back to when Biff and Happy are a lot younger. Willy gives the boys a new punching bag. Overall, the play provides a moral. This moral is that although white lies can sometimes be good, people should make sure that they don't go too far. We can see this throughout the book through the language, stage directions, character and through the techniques of flashbacks and motifs. Lies play a central part in the play as the story is based around lies and deception and without them there would not be a story. The lies are eventually given away and truth is revealed when the characters go too far with the lies. Also, the play focuses heavily on the idea of the American dream isn't always possible and at times reality is better, although that isn't what the characters in the play want to hear and refuse to believe it.

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