The Plot in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay

The Plot in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay

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Plot, characterization, and dialogue are the elements of drama that I’ve chosen to analyze for Death of a Salesmen. Willy seems to be in conflict with himself and everyone else in his life. Conflict is what drives the plot and will be the main element of drama that’s analyzed in this essay. In Death of a Salesman Willy is the protagonist and his son Biff is the antagonist, he provokes Willy’s anger by not holding a steady job and measuring up to what his father feels he should be. The plot in Death of a Salesman is dialogue driven and the theme of the play is the death of Willy’s career and his inability to become successful in life. He also has hopes of Biff doing something more with his life other than working as a farmhand.
Death of a Salesman is a stage play in the form of tragedy that focuses on the relationship between Willy and his son Biff. The main character is Willy Loman, a sixty-three year old salesman that feels his life is full of failure and missed opportunities to become successful. He often has hallucinations of past happier memories where he reminisces about those times. Willy’s mind seems to be full of illusions and he has

trouble determining what is real and what he’d like to be real. There are times when he talks to himself and has conversations with his deceased brother Ben. During the hallucinations when Willy is talking to Ben it seems that he wants to be like Ben who was rich and successful.
Willy has two sons, Biff and Happy but he seems to focus more on Biff. He seemed angry that Biff didn’t do more with his life. Willy Loman, the aging salesman, is worn out to the point of breakdown by his many years on the road. But he remains a firm believer in capitalist values and has transfer...


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... embraced by him and forgiven. In this he is given existence, so to speak---his fatherhood, for which he has always striven and which until now he could not achieve. (Miller 1677)
My final thought on Death of a Salesman and the plot is that Willy Loman lived in his own world. Talking to himself quite often, living in the past and dreaming of the future. He only seems to focus on success and what could have been all the while living with regret. Even though he had two sons he only focused on one, his oldest, Biff. He wanted Biff to have a successful life since he was the high school athlete with such a promising future and when that didn’t happen he felt guilty and responsible. So much so that he took his own life hoping this will give Biff a brighter future.

Workscited:
Andersen, Richard. Arthur Miller. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2006. Print.

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