The play, Death of a Salesman, was written by Arthur Miller who was " ... in all probability, one of the greatest playwrights of contemporary history He is also one of the greatest critics of contemporary American society, as his works often tend to portray American middlemen as heroes, bitterly and futilely fighting against the entire system of what 'Americanism ' is, with all its hues and negative aspects." (Kambli) All stories have hidden meanings, whether it be through the characters or the objects around them. A symbol is a physical object that represents an abstract idea or concept. While not all objects are meant to be symbols, the audience may interpret some things in a way that the author may not have intended. This happens often, but despite the personally interpreted symbols there are also the main symbols. While reading the play Death of a Salesman there are several objects that could possess some alternate meaning behind them. Some of them are more obvious than others, but all of them are equally important for the development of the story. Willy Loman proves to be a very unstable character and while not everything he does makes sense, there is usually a reason behind it that may still be unknown to the reader until farther in the story. Some major symbols in the play are the stockings that Willy gives both to his wife and his mistress, the fountain pen Biff obtains, and the seeds Willy wants to plant.
Towards the beginning of the play Linda is mending her stockings and when Willy notices he becomes upset. This is strange because as far as the reader knows they are struggling financially so it doesn 't make sense that he doesn 't want her mending the stockings. It isn 't until later ...
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...icant symbols. Each of them play a part towards explaining the characters and why they do some of the things they do. Whether it be the association with something of guilt, a sense of unhappiness, or a desperate attempt to provide in some way, all play their part to complete the story. "He [Willy Loman] exists as an insulted extrusion of commercial society battling for some sliver of authenticity before he slips into the great dark. And remarkably, he is battling without a real villain." (Cardullo) Willy is the enemy to himself as Miller challenges the 'American dream '. In the end Willy was unable to redeem himself and his mistakes, just as many people do. Life is more brutal than most people care to admit. A majority of people do not get the glorious endings that are found in popular novels and films where the hero is able to redeem themselves before their death.
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