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It has been argued that the main concern of "Death of a Salesman" is to study the ways in which the flaws of one generation are imprinted on the next. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

It has been argued that the main concern of the play is to study the ways in which the flaws of one generation are imprinted on the next. How far do you agree? Critics have said that Death of a Salesman's main focus is the flaws of one generation on another, however it could be argued otherwise because there are other running themes in the play. Willy taught Biff the wrong things in life, leading to Biff's lack of success in life. "You blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody." This could be argued because Willy encouraged Biff to steal as a boy, never let anyone criticize him and Biff caught Willy having affair, all of these things led to Biff's failure in later life. It could also be argued that Willy's poor teaching of Biff is due to his father never being there for him and not bringing him up, so Willy didn't know how to bring his sons up. This could also be reflected in Ben, because Ben is a success and had a relationship with his father, whilst Willy isn't. ...read more.

Middle

Willy has an affair with The Woman, like how Happy has affairs with women who are due to be married, this is another flaw that Willy has passed on because Willy says that he is "lonely" and seeks attention from anyone who will give it to him. Similarly, Happy seeks attention by declaring irrelevant promises that he doesn't intend to keep and by sleeping with women to feel wanted. Willy also lies about how successful he is in his job "I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own", and because Willy always told his sons that the most important thing is to be successful, so Happy lies about his job status to, to appear more of a success "You're one of the two assistants to the assistant". It could be said that the flaws of one generation are not imprinted on the next, although Biff does bad things that appear to be encouraged by his father when he was younger, it could be argued that Biff is actually rebelling against his father. Willy always dreamed that his son would be successful, but after Biff found out about the affair, Biff could have given up on ...read more.

Conclusion

Biff and Happy, especially Biff, also express a dream to be free of the society they're trapped in, wanting to work in the country ""We cold buy a ranch. Raise cattle, use our muscles." this is significant because it's different to everyone else in the play want to conform to the consumerism society whilst they want to be free of it. Their dream of walking on a ranch is often called the "American Dream" which was popular during the first half of the 1900s, Of Mice and Men is a novel in which the "American Dream" is an important theme, and both texts are set in close time periods to each other, suggesting that the "American Dream" was something that many people aspired to achieve. I think that the play is very much about how the flaws of one generation are imprinted on another, because there are many characters where this is true. Although there are other key themes within the play, I agree with the statement because this is such a strong theme running through the book that has a large impact on the course of the play and the rest of the characters, whilst the other themes are important to the play they do not shape it in such a significant way. ...read more.

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