In the play Willy Loman is the static protagonist. The plot of the play focuses on Willy not being aware of the difference between reality and dreams.
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. The overlying theme in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” is about the “American Dream”, which means success, and what it takes to achieve it. Miller is able to achieve this by creating various characters, each with a different view of that dream. The various themes of the American dream can be seen throughout the characters of Willy, Willy’s brother Ben, Biff, and Bernard.
First, one aspect of the American dream can be seen in Willy’s character. In the play Willy plays a career salesman that never advanced in life. Throughout the play Miller is constantly reinforcing willy’s personality and childish view on being successful. In Willy’s mind the key to being successful is to be well liked, good looking, and have money. All of these Aspects help him make up the American dream. Additionally, Willy believed that if you were well known and liked you would end up successful. He believed its not what you know in life but whom you know. Willy also had the notion that if you are popular and attractive then people will want to talk to you. Another big part of Willy’s American dream involves having money. Second, Another aspect of the American dream can be seen in Willy’s brother Ben. A big part of Ben’s American dream also involves being lucky and having lots of money. In the play, Willy talks to his imaginary brother of his Ben when he wants to find comfort. Ben is Willy’s dead brother who always found success to come easy. Willy goes looking for him when he has problems with money. In the play, Ben went looking for their father in Alaska but made it to Africa and in the jungle he stumbled into some diamond mines. However, Another aspect of the American dream can be seen through the character of Biff. A big part of Biff’s American dream involves inner happiness, having family, and following his true dreams. Biff is Willy’s oldest son who represents someone who cannot find a dream or a goal of success in his life. Much to his dismay Biff has taken on some of the tragic qualities that Willy has. All through the play Willy instills his “ American dream” on Biff, who believes his father and wants to be accepted by him, until one day Biff walks in on his father with another woman. After this moment Biff does not like talking to his father anymore. Additionally, towards the end of the play Biff no longer accepts the illusions that his father has lived with. Biff realizes that he has been a bum and its not Willy’s fault. Because he finally realized this he can finally understand the true meaning of success. The view of success Biff