Essay On Death Of A Salesman

Submitted By Char12nw
Words: 951
Pages: 4

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is the story of Willy Loman, an unstable sixty-three-year-old traveling salesman who tends to imagine past events and things and think that they are rea. Willy has a hard time dealing with the different perception in his life. He is upset with the life path his son Biff has taken, Willy wants Biff to follow in his footsteps as a salesman Biff tells Willy that he is going to make a business proposition. Biff gets turned down by his boss. Biff tries to tell him what happened as Willy gets angry and slips into a flashback of what happened in Boston the day Biff came to see him. Willy was having an affair with a receptionist on one of his sales trips when Biff unexpectedly arrived at Willy's hotel room. Biff angrily confronted Willy, calling him a liar and a fraud. From that moment, Biff's views on Willy have changed. Biff tries to reconcile with Willy, but they argue the feud reaches a point when Biff is hugging Willy and crying as he tries to get Willy to let go of the unrealistic expectations that he still has for him and to accept him for who he really is. Willy thinks his son has forgiven him and thinks Biff will now pursue a career as a businessman. The play ends with Willy killing himself, intentionally crashing his car so that Biff can use the life insurance money to start his business. However, at the funeral Biff sticks to his belief that he does not want to become a businessman. But Happy (Willy’s other son), on the other hand, chooses to follow in his father's footsteps.
Most of the play’s action takes place in Willy’s home. When Willy and Linda purchased it, it represented the ultimate expression of Willy’s hopes for the future. Now, the house is hemmed in by apartment buildings on all sides, and sunlight barely reaches their yard. Their abode has come to represent the reduction of Willy’s hopes, even though, his mortgage payments are almost complete. Just as the house is surrounded by apartment buildings, Willy’s ego is surrounded by doubts and pure evidence that he will never experience the fame and fortune promised by the American Dream. Willy’s reality profoundly conflicts with his hopes. Throughout his life, he has constructed unrealistic fantasies to deny his failure to fulfill his desires and expectations. By the time the play opens, Willy suffers from self-delusion. His consciousness is so messed up that he can’t even maintain a consistent fantasy. At one moment, he calls Biff a lazy bum. In the next, he says that Biff is anything but lazy. He is very contradicting one moment he calls the family car a piece of trash, the next “the finest car ever built.” Denying Biff’s laziness enables Willy to hold onto the hope that Biff will someday fulfill his expectations of him. Willy changes his interpretation of reality according to his psychological needs at the moment. He is likewise able to reimagine selected moments in his past in his later daydreams. Ironically, he asks Linda angrily why he is “always being contradicted,” when it is usually him that contradicts himself from moment to moment. The opening pages of the play introduce a dialogue, which transcends the 1950s of nonspecific pet names (like “pal” or “kid” for adult and child alike) and dated metaphors and slang. Miller intended the singsong melodies of his often miserable and conflicted characters to parallel the complex struggle of a family with a odd version of the American Dream trying to support itself. The dialogue’s crooked, blunt lyrics of