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Death of a Salesman - Essay 4

  • Date Submitted: 03/09/2011 04:08 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.6 
  • Words: 1506
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How are the key themes of death of a salesman reflected in Willy’s final conversation with Biff?
Death of a Salesman is a play which deals with the idea of the American Dream which was founded by immigrants, it’s the belief the anything is possible through hard work. Arthur Miller presents Willy Loman who is dedicated to the American dream but he does not realise this would be the reason for his failure. Miller explores many themes in this play these include father/son relationships, symbolism of the outdoors and the contrast between dream and reality.
Arthur Miller uses the setting of the play as metaphor, the Loman’s house is in a very cramped space, and ‘they boxed in the whole goddam neighbourhood’ this symbolises how Willy feels like he has no freedom and is trapped it represents the competition and how he feels like a victim, that he cant escape. He feels suppressed by the fact that there are so many people right on top of him.   When Willy and Linda first bought the house there was space for an expansion and a garden, it represented the ultimate expression of Willy’s hopes for the future. His talk with Ben shows how he has lots of space and freedom something which Willy longs for.
Willy believes wholeheartedly in what he considers the promise of the American Dream that a “well liked” and “personally attractive” man in business will undoubtedly obtain the material comforts offered by modern American life. Willy’s understanding of likeability is superficial he childishly dislikes Bernard because he considers Bernard a nerd. Willy’s blind faith in his version of the American Dream leads to him not being able to accept the difference between the Dream and his own life. The dream is something Willy has wanted all his life but he refuses to accept that he will be able to achieve it, the whole idea of the American dream is success and fame through hard work but Willy’s version of the dream is that personality, not hard work and innovation, is the key to success....

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