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Love Issues in Death of a Salesman - Essay Example

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Love Issues in Miller’s Death of a Salesman By Course Institution Date Love Issues in Miller’s Death of a Salesman Introduction Uranga (2008) describes Death of a Salesman as a “love story” which involves capitalism (p. 93). At the heart of Willy Loman’s American dream is parental love and his desire for his sons Happy and Biff to be more successful in business than he was…
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Love Issues in Death of a Salesman

Download file to see previous pages... Essentially Death of a Salesman delves into the 20th century capitalism and how it impacts morality, love and relationships generally (Abbotson,2007). This paper examines the themes and issues relative to love in Death of a Salesman by reference to the pursuit of the American dream and parental love in capitalist 20th century America. The American Dream and Love in Death of a Salesman Miller’s Death of a Salesman can be described as a commentary on material gains as prioritized by the American Dream of the 20th century. Through the main character Willy Loman, the reader learns that a man’s self-worth and value to society is measured by his material gains. In many ways this equates with self-love, self-respect and love and respect from family, friends and acquaintances. Willy’s suicide thus presents him as a victim of a society that dehumanizes love and relationships (Emami, 2011). Thus the tragedy of Willy Loman,” is “also the tragedy of American society’s pursuit of the American Dream” (Stanton, p. 156). The tragedy of the American dream and Willy’s pursuit of the American dream is tied to issues of love, particularly in terms of self-love and perceptions of self-worth and love from others. According to Tracy and Robins (2003) capitalist values and its connection to self-worth and thus love sets off a chain reaction. As Tracy and Robins (2003) explained, Willy’s suicide reflect a poignant feelings of “self-doubt” (p. 57). Moreover: Willy’s self-esteem is also contingent and highly dependent on feedback from his employer, sons, and mistress (Tracy and Robins, 2003, p. 57). Thus, the pursuit of the American Dream as depicted in Death of a Salesman draws attention to the fragile nature of love and relationships in 20th century America. Self-worth is measured by material possessions. Willy for example, perceives that his validity as a husband, father, lover, son, brother and employee are highly dependent of his material gains. Thus in his pursuit of the American dream he is determined to obtain the admiration of his family, employers, colleagues, and so on (Tracy and Robins, 2003). In this regard, the issue of love is one that presents “the mismeasure of love” (Tracy and Robins, 2003, p. 58). Essentially, the emphasis on the American dream as a measure of self-worth transfer over to the manner in which love and acceptance are measured. Love and happiness are regarded as implicitly impossible without the acquisition of the American Dream. Willy’s pursuit of the American dream not only prescribes his understanding and appreciation for himself but also dictates his view of successful parenting, employment and personal life relations. Willy does often remind the reader that: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it -because personality always wins the day (Miller, 2007, p 51). Bloom (2007) explains that the belief that personality always wins the day was a belief of Willy’s that was so entrenched in Willy’s psyche that it rose to the level of a religious doctrine. It was Willy’s way of giving voice to the belief that success in life, business and love was prescribed by a rigid formula. In this regard, Bloom (2007) informs that Willy does not: see the banality in such cliches and is actually using bromidic language to bolster his own faltering self-confidence (p. 27). Willy’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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