• 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 - Why did Willy commit suicide? What did his suicide represent?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Death of a salesman Why did Willy commit suicide? What did his suicide represent? Willy commits suicide in the last scene of Act 2, the audience are left to let there minds finish the play as 'the car speeds off' and the next thing the audience see is the Family at the funeral. The scene leading up to the suicide is a confrontation between Biff and Willy, this confrontation exposes the essential gridlock of their relationship arguable caused by Willy's affair. Willy desperately wants Biff to think of him as successful like his Uncle Ben rather than a 'useless bum.' Biff wants to leave and for Willy to forget about him so he can continue his life without the ongoing pressures from his father and live his life how he wants to instead of the carrying the weight of his fathers dreams. When Biff and Happy return to the house with a bunch of roses for Linda but she throws the flowers to the floor, and tells them to leave and accuses them of leaving there self destructing father in the restaurant bathroom. ...read more.

Middle

He compares the proposition to a diamond that is 'shining in the dark, hard and rough' that is reachable by Willy. Willy is adamant that this money will prove to Biff he is important and this will be enforced when he sees the amount of people who liked Willy at his funeral. This conversation allows Willy to contemplate suicide but he does not realise that the last thing he wishes to succeed at will fail as you don't get the life insurance money if it is suicide. At this point of the play the audience are aware of Willy's future intentions but his family are not so when Biff confronts Willy about the rubber hose and makes Willy face the truth that Biff is not succeeding in what Willy wants to be successful in reaching the American dream he longs for. This in itself could push Willy over the edge without Biff going on to blame the reason he is filled with 'hot air' and is not succeeding in life. ...read more.

Conclusion

This confusion to recognise emotions and signals from his family marks a climax in his self tortured day. This confusion of Biff's emotion although is wrong persuades Willy he is well liked and enables him to make his final sale in life i.e. his life. Willy's view of his suicide is a way of validating and proving himself at being a salesman and also a successful martyr as he is passing on his American dream and ambition to Biff. Ben's last reference 'the jungle is dark, but full of diamonds' changes Willy's death to symbolise a metamorphical moral struggle. In conclusion Willy's obsession with the American dream to become successful creates the death of him. His death becomes a religious crusade and therefore Willy becomes a Christ like figure and dies to relieve the sins of his sons who have failed in reaching his aims for them. ...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. Willy's First Flashback (Death of a Salesman)

    Miller mixes her laughter with Linda's to show that he cannot erase her from his conscience. She destroys the concept of family life as dictated in the American Dream and so Willy's hope and faith in that dream is already doomed to fail and this is further exacerbated by Biff's involvement and knowledge of Willy's affair.

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

    Here, the rubber hose represents the attempts at killing himself with gas, which is, the supplier of his families basic needs. This very idea of inhaling gas is the concept that Willy thinks, is a crucial battle to afford such simple necessities.

  1. "A view from the bridge".

    'A View From the Bridge' is a very emotional play with a lot of tension and so Miller had to write the play to create a balance. He does this by using calm scenes between those of high tension. After the tense scene where Eddie kisses Rudolpho, Miller slightly eases

  2. Quotes from All My Sons

    That's important, you know"p130 Suggests that Chris can afford to be idealistic sue values materialism "As soon as a woman supports a man, he owes her something. You can never owe somebody something without resenting them"p130 Money affects relationships "I...

  1. Death of a Salesman. 'Explore the relationship between Willy and his sons'

    than a live, that the money from his insurance policy is worth more than a human life. His worship of money has literally killed him. The audience sees that the heartlessness of modern progress has killed old values. It could be argued that Miller's characterisation of Willy, exemplifies the Aristotleon virtues of the tragic hero.

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

    It is ironic that Willy still has faith in his dream, even at the end of the play after Biff shows that he loves him and tries to set him free from the burden of the American Dream. Willy is blinded and thinks that Biff will worship him once he

  1. Commentary on the Climax of Death of a Salesman

    And when you're down and out, remember what did it. When you're rotting somewhere beside the railroad tracks, remember, and don't you dare blame it on me!" Willy continues to insult Biff, until Biff can take no more and confronts Willy about the rubber tube Willy put next to the gas line, enabling him to kill himself whenever he chooses.

  2. An Analysis of Biff and Happy (Death of a Salesman)

    'I gotta show some of those pompous, self-important executives over there that Hap Loman can make the grade.' 'I just keep knockin them over and it doesn't mean anything.' 'I have an over-developed sense of competition or something, but I went and ruined her.'

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