Death of a Salesman Structure Metaphoric Language and Theme Essays

Death of a Salesman Structure Metaphoric Language and Theme Essays

Length: 1550 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Death of a Salesman Structure Metaphoric Language and Theme

In looking at the characteristics of the tragic hero, it can be see that Willy Loman is not a tragic hero but a victim of a false idealistic pursuit of the “American Dream”. Willy strives to become and instill in his sons the success of the self made man that American society often advertises but ultimately falls short, and instead, escapes accepting his failure through lies and death. What many flaws Willy possesses, most do not correlate with the classic tragic hero.

Willy Loman, was never really of noble stature, as was summed up by Linda, the person who knew him best. “ Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived.” Willy’s harmartia was his obsession with the false American Dream that caused him to become delusional and totally blind of his actual situation. If this is so, then he cannot he commit a true and calculated error of judgment and then his downfall is due to an overriding irrepressible mental condition which cancels his own fault in his downfall. His delusional state of mind blurs reality and causes him to never accept or understand who he is or his downfall erasing any notion that he experienced an epiphany of any sort. In fact, it can be said that he dragged one of his sons with him. In front of Willy’s grave Happy vows to continue Willy’s dream. “ He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have- to come out the number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him.” Willy Loman is an example of the middle class man caught as a victim of society where the odds are against him, a “has-been”. As a victim he unwillingly suppressed hi...

... middle of paper ...

...t, but Ben is also dead. Willy’s father went off to Alaska to find wealth but also ended up dead. In the “Requiem”, Happy vows to finish what his father started and therefore following in his footsteps, “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain.” He ends the proclamation with, “I’m gonna win it for him.” Three people with the same goal, economic success and freedom, with what can be assumed the same outcome, death. Alternatively, the story of David Singleman acts as an oracle in the way that it foreshadows Willy’s death, “- and by the way he died the death of a salesman.”

Within the past, present and future actions of characters the effects of a preordained outcome are clearly visible. By looking at character relations and incorporating old techniques with more modern ones a dark pattern of design looms over the Loman family.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller Essay

- Author and Era: Death of a Salesman, the “first great American Tragedy,” is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. Miller is known for being a true activist, supporting and participating in many liberal issues, including the civil rights struggle and the protest against the Vietnam War. The basis for Death of a Salesman lies in Arthur Miller’s relationship with his uncle Manny Newman, a salesman. Miller expresses Manny’s emotions through Willy Loman, the main protagonist. In successfully doing so, Miller has been deemed an American who understands the true nature and values of the United States (Bloom)....   [tags: Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller]

Strong Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)

Failures in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay example

- Failures in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Arthur Miller develops a number of significant and central themes throughout the play using techniques such as characterization, setting and language. The best explored theme in the play is the theme of failure and disappointments. 'Death of a Salesman' is a modern day play about a salesman, Willy Loman, his life and his failures in a success driven society and world. He is a victim of "The American Dream" destroyed by false promises and ideals....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Death of a Salesman Essay

- “Death of a Salesman” written by Arthur Miller in 1948 attempts to give the audience an unusual glimpse into the mind of a Willy Loman, a mercurial 60-year-old salesman, who through his endeavor to be “worth something”, finds himself struggling to endure the competitive capitalist world in which he is engulfed. Arthur Miller uses various theatrical techniques to gradually strip the protagonist down one layer at a time, each layer revealing another truth about his distorted past. By doing this, Miller succeeds in finally exposing a reasonable justification for Willy’s current state of mind....   [tags: Arthur Miller Exposes Willy Loman]

Strong Essays
2921 words (8.3 pages)

Death Of A Salesman And Glengarry Glen Ross Essay

- Introduction Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Glen Ross are two plays which attempt to validate the key values that have been strongly advocated for by capitalism. The two plays dwell on somewhat similar themes, but these themes are presented in different styles. Both Miller and Mamet hold a similar interpretation of success in that the success of the main characters in the two plays is measured from a material standpoint. According to Miller and Mamet, these characters will do anything within their reach to stay ahead of other members of the society (the system/principle of capitalism), but as fate would have it, tragedies befall them in the end....   [tags: Sociology, Postmodernity, Postmodernism]

Strong Essays
1352 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about A Survey of Tragedy

- A Survey of Tragedy A modern tragedy of today and a tragedy of ancient Greece are two very different concepts, but ironically, both are linked by many similarities. In “Poetics”, Aristotle defines and outlines tragedy for theatre in a way that displays his genius, but raises questions and creates controversy. Aristotle’s famous definition of tragedy states: “A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious, and also as having magnitude, complete in itself in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form: with incidents arousing pity and fear; wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotion...   [tags: Oedipus The King, Death of a Salesman]

Strong Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Influence of Realist Style in Various Plays

- The influence of realist style appears in all of these plays by showing the reality side of things for what they really are instead of what society tells them it is. In Death of a Salesman, Willy thinks that he wants the new American life but in reality, the American dream is only that, a dream and in order to achieve that, Willy realizes that he has to do twice as much work without complaining and that is the only way for him to get the success he wants but he never does and neither does he talk to his sons about working hard....   [tags: Death of a Salesman, imporance of being Earnest]

Strong Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Willy Loman's Character

- Willy Loman's Character Betrayed or Betrayer. Discuss theses two aspects of Willy Loman’s character and comment on how they affect both Willy himself and the other characters’ relationships with him. Betrayed or Betrayer. Discuss theses two aspects of Willy Loman’s character and comment on how they affect both Willy himself and the other characters’ relationships with him. ‘Death of a Salesman’ is a play written by Arthur Miller and first produced on stage in 1949. This play is Miller’s most famous work....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Willy Loman Essays]

Strong Essays
3030 words (8.7 pages)

Theme of Success in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay example

- Theme of Success in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman One of the important themes in Death of a Salesman is the nature of success. Many people believe that success is about making a lot of money. They say that with money comes happiness. However this may not always be true. In other words success is defined as the accomplishment of something that was desired. Furthermore it is about being happy, proud and secure about yourself. Although true success originates from the heart, achieving it requires hard work and determination.  In Death of a Salesman, the characters that are successful are Dave Singleman, Ben and Bernard....   [tags: Death of a Salesman]

Free Essays
752 words (2.1 pages)

The Death Of A Salesman Essay

- The Death of a Salesman Have you ever worked long and hard on a project, only to realize that it was effort wasted and the project was totally meaningless in the end. That is just what occurred in the play The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Willy Loman, the protagonist, spent decades in mind numbing work, only to discover that he had “built his life on shifting sand” (Nicholas). Through the course of his journey, Willy kept on the straight and narrow highway, which he thought would bring success and happiness....   [tags: Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller, Lee J. Cobb]

Strong Essays
1138 words (3.3 pages)