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

The nature of success in Death of a Salesman

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Miler explore the nature of success in the society of Death of a Salesman? In Death of a Salesman, Miller shows that the nature of success includes the ability to make lots of money and the ability to gain material possessions. "Wire recorder...you can't do without it...they're only a hundred and a half." In this quote, Howard is boasting about his new wire recorder to Willy and this indicates to the audience that in order to be successful as an individual, in post war American society, one has to be able to buy the latest consumer goods that are advertised to them. In this scene, Howard is extremely pleased with his wire recorder and this suggests that Howard is successful as he is able to afford an object, which equals, in cost, to Willy's debts. As the play describes the economic boom that followed the Second World War in the late 1940s, where there was an increasing desire in the public for material goods, the nature of success is related to one's ability to possess these material goods that were becoming available to more people. ...read more.

Middle

The only advice Ben is seen to give to Willy and his family includes the above quote and this depicts the society in Death of a Salesman to be cruel and pitiless. It suggests that if anyone wants to be successful in this ruthless world, they have to be brutal in their approach to others. This connects with Miller's exploration of the nature of success to be dehumanizing, since the society forces individuals to compete with one another in order to strive for success. This seems false because a society cannot be successful, as a whole, if everyone is aggressive to one another since this will leave weaker individuals, like Willy Loman, unable to become successful. Here Miller explores the nature of success by showing that if everyone 'Never fights fair with a stranger' then there will certainly be individuals who cannot become successful due to the competitive society they live in. On the other hand, Miller explores the true nature of success through the character of Charley. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, Willy has a loving family, a happy marriage, he owns material possessions and he has natural craftsmanship skills, which others like Charley lack. So, in the eyes of some individuals Willy is successful and he has much to be happy about. Additionally, Miller uses Charley to illustrate the rewarding nature of success as Charley is secure in life with a son, Bernard, who is also a very honest and successful man. Overall, through Miller's exploration of the nature of success, we are shown that success has no real definition and that an individual can create their own success through the opportunities they face in life. In the society of Death of a Salesman, the nature of success is very harsh, materialistic and it does not allow everyone to fulfil their potential in life. Miller explores this idea through showing that in post war American society, only those in big companies and in big positions could become successful, and less important individuals in society, like the Loman family, are prevented from becoming successful. Therefore, Miller shows that the nature of success in the society of Death of a Salesman is demeaning and unrealistic as success should be available to all. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Character Analysis - Willy Loman

    This shows that he shares the views of his father about how to become successful. It also shows what respect he has for him. In Willy's first flashback we are shown that Willy prefers Biff to Happy. Despite this Happy seeks Willy's approval in every way.

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

    Biff leaves in guilt and anguish. Happy claims to the ladies that Willy is not his father, ?he?s just a guy? and then he frantically asks for the bill, Stanley doesn?t respond, so they all leave, and Willy is left babbling in the washroom alone.

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

    Willy is an antique in a new and progressive world. The new America has no place for people like him. The new progressive throw away society, simply casts off without conscience what it doesn't want. Willy has been made redundant.

  2. Compare how Plath and Miller explore the concept of the American Dream in The ...

    We also get a sense of selfishness from this act of disillusionment as Willy seems to use his sons as an excuse for him to commit this act he has been clinging onto the American Dream so tightly that it became a veil over his eyes that left him blind to see "he has the wrong dreams".

  1. Death of a Salesman

    Firstly, Willy's downfall gradually began ever since Ben took an overseas trip in which Willy couldn't join, because of family. Pressured by the fact that Ben 'went in the jungle, and came out rich', those words haunted him for the rest of his life because he didn't take the risk with Ben.

  2. Dreams in 'Death of a Salesman'.

    Dreams can be very dangerous if they are the only driving forces behind a person's life and lead them, not to hope but to want for things beyond their reach. This is the case in 'Death of a Salesman'. The driving force behind Willy Loman throughout the Death of a

  1. Examine Arthur Miller's presentation of the characters of Charley and Bernard in "Death of ...

    (pg68), "oh Biff you promised me" (pg68). These are the only times we see Bernard as a youngster interacting with the Loman family. However, this is not all we see of Bernard in the play, as on page 70 Miller reintroduces us to him while he is sat whistling in his father's office "Bernard now mature sits whistling to himself.

  2. Death of a Salesman - How effective is the ending? Who do we sympathise ...

    state Happy always seems to be the one to stand up for him and care, "He's going to get his licence taken away if he keeps that up. I'm getting nervous about him, y'know, Biff?" As the play progress Happy grows as a person.

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