Death Of A Salesman

Essay by Chinaman15College, UndergraduateA, March 2009

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Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is a drama about a man chasing after the American dream of having a successful life with a wife and his two sons. The salesman is Willy Loman who has a wife named Linda, and two sons, Biff and Happy. Together they are Arthur Miller's portrait of a dysfunctional family that allows one person's desire to gain the American dreams of having a high-paying job, a perfect marriage, and two successful sons, to lead them through life with a series of lies because he cannot accept his own failures and the failures of others to live out his dreams. In Act II of the play, Biff says to his father, Willy, "We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house!" (Miller 1968). Out of his own frustration and disgust for all the lies that everyone around him has been living and telling each other, Biff finally confronts his family, starting with his father, the truth.

Willy Loman has been living with lies for years. He pretends that he enjoys his job, but in reality, Willy is restless and dissatisfied. He has himself an extramarital relationship with a woman in Boston and is discovered by Biff one day. When Biff asks his father about the naked woman in his hotel room, Willy lies to his son by saying that she asks to use the shower in his room because her own hotel room is being painted. However, Biff calls his father a liar and goes on saying, "You fake! You phony little fake! You fake!" (Miller 1963) This memory is one example that supports the truth of Biff's statement about his family's inability to be truthful. In Act I Biff reminds his mother that Willy has thrown his own...