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"Death of a Salesman is a play about love". Arthur Miller.

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Introduction

"Death of a Salesman is a play about love" "It's all relationships. I wanted plenty of space in the play for people to confront each other with their feelings..." [Conversations with Arthur Miller, edited by Matthew C Roudine]. Love in the Loman family either brings them together or tears them apart. During the play we see the different ways in which they express their love for each other. There's the love between Willy and Linda, Willy and 'the woman', Willy and Biff and the lack of love between Willy and Happy and even the love and admiration that Willy has for Charlie. The love between Willy and Biff is the most controversial of all, a love so powerful that it does more harm than good. Biff and Willy have different ways of expressing their love; they both detest confrontation and rarely express their feelings for each other. If we go back to when Biff is in high school we can see why. The relationship between Willy and Biff was at an all time high for the play. The fatherly-son activities such as rooting for Biff at football games, praising his accomplishments and defending him from the critical comments of Bernard shows us the father Willy could be. ...read more.

Middle

A man is not a piece of fruit". Willy Loman may not have the American Dream in his pocket and live in a mansion with millions of dollars in the bank. However, he made the best of what he had rather than fail with the 'wrong' dream. To some extent, Charlie fuels the dreams of Willy. Willy admires Charlie for the success that he has made for himself. Charlie has made a success of all aspects of his life, most of all his career and his family. Willy is not so much envious of Charlie's career; it's more that he is covetous of his family. Charlie's family is an important aspect of the play, because it is the family life that Willy dreams of; he wants the same success for Biff as Bernard. Bernard was never popular to Biff or Happy's standards, and he probably didn't dream of being the top football player and best at everything he does. Instead he carried on at school, he kept his head down and studied and his life turned out to be just like his fathers was. He is a successful lawyer, and has a family to look after. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is more to Willy Loman than meets the eye most of the time, and we do start to see where Happy gets some of his qualities (good or bad) from. One dramatic parts of the play is where we find out that Willy has been promising the woman stockings when they meet up, stockings that Linda would have had. When Willy sees Linda fixing her stockings he realizes what he has done. He wanted Linda and the woman, but he realizes that Linda will stick with him, stockings or no stockings, while the woman he isn't sure about. Linda: "Just mending my stockings. They're so expensive -" Willy: "I won't have you mending stocking in this house! Now throw them out!" What makes Willy carry on with this affair with the woman is the fact that he has been picked by her. It makes him feel more important for a while and makes him feel like he is living out part of his dream and tells himself that it was him who picked her, and he can still get the woman and the buyers if he wants to. The mixture of all these loves brings out Arthur Miller's hope, and gives them plenty of space for confrontation. The relationships flood the play and advance the plot, rather than the characters advancing the plot. ...read more.

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