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Death of a Salesman.

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Death of a Salesman As the title suggests Willy Loman is a salesman. However his life does not follow the American dream of wealth and prosperity, it is one of conflict and lies. Some of the complex issues contained in the play are introduced in the opening scene. The play opens 'in medias reys' which immediately captures the audience's attention. From Linda's trepid call of 'Willy!' it is clear that his return is somewhat unexpected. However rather than being pleased at his early homecoming she is worried. She asks Willy 'What happened?' and when he replies that 'nothing happened' it appears she does not trust him as she continues to question him. Linda is concerned that Willy has smashed the car which may initially lead the audience to believe that she is more concerned with material goods rather than ...read more.


Miller uses dramatic irony as it is his job that contributes in his suicide at the end of the play. This also ties in with the issue of the failure of the American Dream. Willy views success as being wealthy and 'well liked', therefore he can never be 'successful' because his job has brought him neither of these and eventually leads to his demise. It soon becomes apparent that Willy has a problem and 'just couldn't make it' (it being New England) after he was unable to concentrate on driving. Rather than try to discover this deep psychological problem embedded in Willy, Linda avoids this and encourages Willy to escape from reality by giving him excuses such as 'it was the steering' as well as 'maybe it's your glasses.' ...read more.


Linda blames his job for Willy's 'strange thoughts' and asks why he can't work in New York, there home city. Willy then claims that he is 'vital in New England' which is in stark contrast with the truth. Linda suggests that Willy goes to see Howard, his boss, in the morning to ask for a place in New York, a demand they are not in the position to make. As this passage comes to a close it is clear that there is some conflict between Willy and his son Biff. We can assume that one of Willy's first questions to Biff was if he was making any money, a measure of success in Willy's mind. This conflict develops through the play and it becomes apparent that Biff is hiding a deep secret. ...read more.

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  1. 'The American Dream' - Death of a Salesman.

    You were doing a crossword puzzle and accidentally used his pen!" Willy's overall goals may be okay, however, his values are not. They are immoral, valuing only image, and popularity; never thinking about hard work, honesty, or skills of any sort.

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    thinking about the past, for example at the beginning of Act 1 he is thinking about his sons' childhood and all of the great times they had together as a family, but once the story in his memory ends, he immediately continues with the conversation he was in beforehand.

  1. Betrayed or Betrayer? Discuss theses two aspects of Willy Loman's character and comment on ...

    When Willy had the affair he not only betrayed his wife, but also his son, because during the flashback revelling Willy's affair we see a young Biff witnessing the man he idolized trusted and believed in completely, reverse his opinion about his father. Biff calls him a 'phoney little fake!'

  2. Death of a Salesman - plot summary

    dream and burn it before something happens" Willy finds it very hard to understand that he is just an ordinary person and that he will not be remembered by everyone in the future and he did not make great impact on the world.

  1. Death of the Salesman - Discuss the importance of the scene in which Howard ...

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  2. Examine the presentation of Linda in this part of the play.Extract -Page 38, Linda: ...

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    Ben tells Willy, "A new continent is on your doorstep", and that America is the land of opportunity, He is telling Willy to go out and explore like a real pioneer and then he will be successful. Willy and his sons long for a more rural life, Which is also part of the American Dream.

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    This is almost the opposite case when Willy loses his job, he asks to do a different job, then Howard says "Willy, but there is no place for you." Then later on Willy says, "I will go to Boston." This shows that Willy is a failure, but he will not even admit this fact to himself.

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