"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller: A Motif that Occurs more than Four Times in this Play - Dishonesty.

Essay by lilaloHigh School, 12th grade March 2007

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The Loman family keeps each other happy by lying to each other because their truths are too devastating to be told to one another. Each family member has their secrets, and to keep them hidden form everyone else they feel like they must lie, but all to keep the other members safe from that person's failures.

Willy's Lies

*Willy lies to his family about his commissions

*however when confronted, he will confess to the truth to whoever is persistent to get it

When Willy returns from his trip to New England, at the beginning of the novel, in his first flashback, he tells Linda he "was sellin' thousands and thousands, but I had to come home" when asked about how he did on the job. When asked again he changes the amount to "five hundred gross in Providence and seven hundred gross in Boston", which is again another lie. So, when Linda asks him a third time, he tells her the truth, but with excuses to why his commission is so low.

Another instance of Willy's lies is when he visits Charley at his office to borrow money after Howard just fired him. Instead of having to lend him fifty dollars a week, Charley decided to offer Willy a job. In reply to Charley's gesture, Willy says, "I've got a job". As Charley offers once more, Willy repeats himself and says, "What's the matter with you? I've got a job". When Charley finally lets Willy be and asks him how much money he needs, Willy then confesses that he was just fired.

Linda's Lies

*she lies to herself about Willy's mental health and about her own happiness

*she is the one who everyone lies the most to

Lies have a place in Linda's life such that she lies...