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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.
Dave Singleman was a successful individual. He was an eighty-four year old salesman in the Parker House. In order to make a sale all he had to do was "pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, he made his living..." (Death of a Salesman, p81.) This quote describes his success as a salesman. At the age of eighty four he was able to make an adequate amount of sales. Although he did not get rich from the sales that he made, he enjoyed what he was doing. As a result of his success life, he died honorably. "He died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers..." (DOS, p81.) This example shows that he was successful right until the end. After living the life of a successful salesman he died the death of a salesman. When he died he was still wearing his green velvet slippers, which in a way symbolizes that his success is still with him. Another example that shows Dave had a successful life was at his funeral. "When he died, hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his fune The second successful character is Willy's older brother, Ben. This man became successful by taking a risk. He "walked into the jungle, and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he's rich." (DOS, p41.) When Ben went to Africa, he found diamonds in the mines and as a result he became rich. This incident has made Ben's life successful and ever since, Willy has been regretful. If Willy was to take the risk, he too would be successful. Not only is Willy envious but he also idolizes Ben because of his success. Willy often asks Ben, "what's the secret?" (DOS, p91.) This quote proves that Willy is aware of Ben's success.
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