Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman.

Essay by murathan November 2004

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The whole play is a representation of an aspect of real life. The characters, the events, the relations between the characters are mirroring real life. The play is also representing the failure of the American dream.

I would like to give information about some characters in the play, what they represent and what their performance is. I will mainly focus on the main character Willy Loman.

Willy has several functions in life. He has the role of a husband, a father, a friend and a salesman. Sadly he is not able to perform any of those roles properly. All his happiness is up to his career as a salesman. The time he starts loosing success in business life, he also looses success in everything else. That's why the play is called "Death of a Salesman" and not death of Willy, or father. The play is a representation of the importance of business success in life according to me.

Willy is a representation of everyman. He is a victim of the capitalist system. Money, money and only money counts. The play is mainly about this little man. The other principal characters are seen much of the time out of his eyes and tend to represent aspects of his personality or to be set against him for contrast.

Willy suffers a strong identity crisis. He is completely confused with his past. He cannot accept the present. The flashbacks in the play let us travel deep into Willy's mind. Although they give us clues about the past, the flashbacks are aiming to represent a man's head, Willy's head. They are not a chronological guide to the past, they help us to understand Willy's personality and behaviours deeper. The impact of this time switch causes the effect of showing how past decisions effect...