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This paper shall look at these concepts through the symbols and characters that are a part of this play. Willy Loman is one of the most important characters of this play. The protagonist, his death in a sense, is the subject of the play and his characterization is an important aspect of the change that Miller seeks to effect in the genre of the tragedy. The character manages to evoke what Miller himself feels is the results that a tragedy should produce in an audience: “I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing – his sense of personal dignity” (Miller “Tragedy and the Common Man”). Loman’s dreams for Biff are a means for him to live the dream that he was incapable of living himself. Biff is, thus, sought to be turned into a reflection by Willy so that the Great American Dream is lived. This is the means through which Loman seeks to create a dignified existence. This is undercut in the play itself through the revelation of his adultery which makes the audience aware of how he is not an extraordinary man in any sense. It also exposes the hollowness of the institution of the family which is thought of as sacrosanct by the middle classes. This hypocrisy of ordinary life, common to people of different levels in life, is what Miller seeks to portray in his play.
One of the important symbols in the play is a diamond. When Ben, Willy’s brother, says, “A diamond is hard and rough to the touch” (Miller, Death of a Salesman 107), it reveals the importance that Willy attributed to monetary success. His suicide is then turned into a decision that he takes for the sake of his family. It is unpleasant; however, it has to be done for the well-being of his family. Here too, ethics and morals take a backseat as monetary concerns are given precedence. The American Dream is, thus, for Miller, one that is bereft of any moral concerns and hence, one that adopts a ruthless stance towards anyone who has not been able to achieve it. Fate, too, is something that a diamond symbolizes in the play whereby it shows how there is no concrete reason as to why Loman’s life turns out the way it does. There is, thus, a certain kind of inversion of Aristotle’s rules of tragedy while certain others are kept intact (Martin 146–7). “Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground” (Miller, Death of a Salesman 96). This line reveals Loman’s interest in leaving his mark on earth before he leaves it. It is a sign of how he wishes to transcend his mortality. It is also a pointer of how it is through his next generation in Biff that he seeks to achieve what he could not. His immense interest in seeds and growing vegetables for much of the play can be seen to be a reflection of his desire to root himself metaphorically in the earth. This is precisely what he attempts to do through his suicide. He feels that it would further Biff’s dreams, which are, in fact, his own. Another symbol that is of great significance is the stockings that are owned by Linda, Willy’s wife. The presence of the stockings of another woman is what makes Biff aware of his father’s adultery. The stockings are, thus, a symbol of adultery and Willy’s obsession with the pairs of stockings that are owned by Linda is another instance of his hypocrisy. He seems to be compensating for the mistakes
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Arthur Miller’s Play “Death of a Salesman” as an Analysis of Abandonment and Loss Although there is an unbelievably high number of individual themes with which to examine in Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman”, one would be remiss if they did not consider the strong autobiographical overtones that pervade the work; especially those that pertain to loss and/or abandonment.
On its most fundamental level, Death of a Salesman depicts the disintegration of Willy's personality as he desperately searches for the moment in his memory when his world began to unravel. What appears to be true to the characters in Death of a Salesman is often a far cry from reality, and this is communicated numerous times throughout the play.
It will only be the manner of his death that will be expected and disclosed.
For a reader/audience, it would not be an exciting and attractive fiction if it is already known that the protagonist dies at the end of the story. The manner of his death and the motive for his death are not usually as inviting as having a victorious and adventurous major character.
These parameters establish a married woman firmly within the household rather than in the surrounding community or society; her concerns must be focused strictly on her obligations as wife and mother, and social and economic constraints reinforce this confinement.
Of course, Loman is seeking happiness with money but he does not put in the hard work or the effort which is required in order to obtain the happiness he desires. Interestingly, Miller pondered over several different names for the play before
She hoped all immigrants to America would have the same chance at making their lives better. It speaks about migration into America from around the world.
It gives the impression that anybody can be successful and influential, and continues the classic American ideas
This paper explores Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller in the context of realism and postmodernism. According to the society of that time, realization of one’s dreams entailed hard work coupled with positivity that assumed challenges were insignificant obstacles found between a person and his or her American dream.
Going outside the genre of films and novels, a hero is actually someone who performs in a way that society deems worthy of praise who fights for what is right and does not expect anything in return. A hero is someone who makes a positive impact on
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