• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Death of a salesman

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Death of a salesman The play death of a salesman was written by Arthur Miller in 1949, it was written when the American dream played an active part in life. The play is about the character Willy Loman who's life basically evolves the American dream, but in the end his life results in a tragedy. Miller claims " I set out not to write a tragedy but the truth as I saw it .." American dream Willy Loman along with many other Americans was a great believer in the American dream. The American dream as it stands is about how successful people are . Many peoples lives evolve around materialism , the need to have possession , and to be rich. This dream is unrealistic and based on the wealth of a family or person. America ran by a capitalist system which played a great part in the American dream. Death of a salesman does not concentrate on this but is based on one mans dreams, life and lies. Willy had many ambitions but these were overthrown by greed, competition, and lust. Ultimately like any tragedy the end leads to death. Death by the ruthless American dream which is unrealistic and survives in Willys everyday life . Willy's main life was lived subconsciously where he was most happy. The dictionaries definition of a tragedy is : serious play, film etc. in which the hero is destroyed by a personal failing in adverse circumstances. ...read more.

Middle

Willy is a very contradicting man one minute he will say something and then he totally changes it around and says the complete opposite. " Biff is just a lazy bum ! " "if there's one thing he's not that is lazy, Biff Loman is not lazy" Here is a typical example of Willy's contradictions. Willy can be seen as many things but one main one is mistaken, he has strange ideas and makes many mistakes and throughout the play everybody learns from theses mistakes except from Happy and Happy wants to live Willy's dream. Many people never understood Willy but Biff did and at Willys funeral Biff came to the wise conclusion that he had all the wrong dreams. "he had all the wrong dreams, All, all wrong." "he never knew who he was" in these quotations Biff excuses Willys life and faults and decides that it's your dreams that count or at least they did to Willy. To Willy, death was a sacrifice which he took in order to give something to Biff. We can argue that Willy was a selfish man but his death proves otherwise, yet he did leave all his money to Biff and not to Happy. Here this shows favoritism we have seen this throughout the story. This could have been for a number of reasons. He Wanted Biff to be like him, he didn't believe enough I Happy, or guilt he felt guilty about the woman therefore giving the guilt money to Biff. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the night of his suicide he realised just how much Biff loved him, this is the thing that meant the most to him. " he loves me. Always loved me isn't that a remarkable thing." Between Willy and Biff I feel that there was a barrier which was disallowing them to communicate I assume that all through Biff's childhood they have been there with each other supporting each other, we see alot this in Willy's flashbacks. Everything in life was fine Biff respected Willy and Willy showered Biff with affection until the night that Biff saw his father with "the woman. " It must have been awful for Biff to see that and he must have felt betrayed, at this point the audience seen the change in the father-son bond. " you fake ! you phony little fake ! you fake" This is Biff reaction to finding his icon his idol was a fake and untrusting. I think that once he realised how much Biff love him he wanted to go ahead with the suicide even more as he knew that Biff would be grateful for the money. After his death Biff learned from Willy's mistake and vowed not to love a life like him the only person that didn't was Happy as he intended to live a life like Willy's. Overall considering what happened in Willy's life and the pressures he had from all areas I think that it is safe to say that Willy Loman is definitely a modern tragic hero. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Death of a Salesman: Is Willy Loman a tragic hero or a tragic victim?

    5 star(s)

    position"7 , was therefore quite a radical challenge to make at the time, as unlike nowadays, people did not constantly self-analyse on a national and individual level. The dream is the villain of the play. Willy's desperate nocturnal attempt to grow vegetables in the garden further compounds to this idea,

  2. Peer reviewed

    To what extent is Willy Loman a tragic hero?

    3 star(s)

    However, in the present tense there appears to be an unspoken issue between the two characters, "That selfish, stupid..." which caused Biff to leave home as soon as he could. This gives the audience a sense of foreshadowing as the issue between Willy and Biff must come into light at some point and it does.

  1. Is Biff the True Hero of Death of a Salesman?

    in Singleman's name, the message that Miller try's to portray that at the age of eighty-four a man had to live in hotels, selling his soul, alone and for what? Ultimately it was this false dream of success and desperate need to be liked that was Willy's fatal flaw, the

  2. Willy's image of America is a mistaken one.

    Biff turned his back on the opportunities that were there for him and, therefore, he was not a success. Overall, one can argue that America is still the land of opportunity but for those who are in a better position to succeed and for those who use the opportunities available to them to the full, like Bernard did.

  1. How does Millers handling of time and memory add to our understanding of tragedy ...

    Perhaps it portrays how even though Willy wants to slow down time, he is more ambitious from his 'rest', and therefore it prepares us for his downfall later on in the play. Willy's downfall is also due to 'the woman' and 'Linda', and in the time the play was written,

  2. Biff (of his father): He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong. Discuss Biff's ...

    Furthermore it shows Miller's criticism of the false hope given to many American citizens by the values and dreams of American society. Another of Willy's dreams, or rather obsessions, is to be popular. He does not just want to be liked, but to be "well liked" as a salesman.

  1. In the light of critical opinions discuss Millers exploration of the American Dream in ...

    (Page 20 Act 1). He bases his work ethic on a successful salesman who had many people come to his funeral as he was very popular. However, at Willy's funeral, he proves to be almost entirely friendless. Willy has deluded himself into thinking that he is so popular and well

  2. An Analysis of the Dramatic Impact of the Restaurant Scene in Death of a ...

    It is also the fact that he mythologizes Biff and Happy. He is quoted as saying Biff is like Adonis and Happy like Hercules. This is because he believes Biff and Happy to be the absolute embodiment of the American Dream.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work