• 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 Essay

Extracts from this document...


'Death of a Salesman' - The Card-Game Scene. Evidently, the stage layout of Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' is open and unfinished. Similarly in the film starring Dustin Hoffman, there are gaps in the walls and even no ceilings. Whilst talking with Charley, Willy refers to the fact that he has put up a ceiling, 'Did you see the ceiling I put up in the living room'. Miller has used gaps in Willy's home, to suggest that his life is not quite complete. Willy had hoped he would fulfil a successful life as a salesman, but he hasn't quite made it. He is an incomplete man. Likewise, his house is incomplete, either because he has never earned enough money to pay for the repairs; or it is solely for dramatic effect to portray how his life is not quite finished or how it should be. 'In the scenes of the past these boundaries are broken' Miller has decided to do this because it is an emphatic method of showing the audience how scenes in the past are different from scenes in the present. Also, because the characters in the play, in particular Willy and Biff, are strongly affected by their past; it is necessary for the audience to understand what has happened previously in their lives. ...read more.


'What're you lookin' so anaemic about, Bernard?' By referring to Bernard as an anaemic, Willy is suggesting that he studies too much Miller is displaying how many people in America have a false image of how wonderful life can be: the typical 'American Dream' that the government portrays as being a mandatory fact of living in a capitalist nation. In the scene where Willy is playing cards with his neighbour Charley, the props that Miller uses are key dramatic devices that subtly inform the audience about aspects to do with Willy's life that are not necessarily spoken. The playing cards represent the fact that throughout Willy's career in sales, he has been gambling. If he had worked hard at school and got a high-paid safe job, like Bernard turns out to achieve, he wouldn't be in the insecure position that he finds himself - on commission. Unlike Charley, who has a better job, more money, and the fact that the actor used in the film is overweight, suggests that he has a lot of money to spend on food and luxury beverages. Charley knows he is more important and successful than Willy. ...read more.


That's my build!' This proves how he is easily frustrated. From the start, Miller builds up the feeling of anxiety; he shows that Willy has a very short temperament, so all he needs is one slight irritation and he will go let out all his feelings and emotions. On the whole, Miller has used the card game scene as a way of showing the audience how the business world has affected Willy psychologically. By showing him going mad and schizophrenic, the audience can feel for Willy and are given an insight into the harsh reality of the so called 'American Dream'. In particular, Ben is a powerful, dramatic device, because not only does he allow the audience to understand Willy's mental problems, but he is a strong example of what Willy dreams are all about. However, by conveying Ben as a mystical ghost-like character, it confirms the notion that it is exceedingly difficult to be a success in the world of business; it is not simply a mandatory aspect of living in America. Personally, I believe 'Death of a Salesman' is necessary in today's culture, because it shows how hard life can really be in the business and social world. For me, this play has been influential in displaying how you cannot cruise through life easily. You actually have to work hard to achieve something. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    What techniques does Arthur Miller use to highlight the conflict between past and present ...

    4 star(s)

    It is as thought the scene is timeless. Now that Willy is dead, the conflict between the two times no longer exists and the past and the present are no longer such separate, contrasted things. Scenery can also be used in the theatre to convey to the audience different characters and themes.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Can 'Death of a Salesman' be Described as a Tragedy?

    4 star(s)

    At first he lies to his son, "No, that was next door", when Biff hears her laugh from the bathroom. These are the sort of things you would not expect from a good person, let alone a hero - someone you're meant to look up to.

  1. tension in the death of a salesman

    I'm supposed to have lunch with them tomorrow.' Biff can see that his father can't cope and won't cope with the truth. This causes Biff to slip back into letting Willy believe he got the deal. Willy goes back into the past. In the past Biff discovers that Willy was having an affair.

  2. Of death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller says, "…it is really a love story ...

    Willy does not have a strong relationship with Biff because he has high expectations of Biff but because of his personality he does not accomplish them, weakening the bond between them. An example of this is when Willy wanted Biff to go to a certain college but eventually finds out

  1. Death of a Salesman

    and he finds Biff standing at the door. Biff has come to tell his dad that he 'flunked math' and does not have 'enough credits to graduate'. Just as Willy promises his son that he will speak to Birnbaum, and Biff is about to leave the Hotel room, he discovers

  2. Death Of A Salesman

    The family's relationships between each other are fractured due to the pressure to do well and to live up to the 'American Dream' which makes the ending effective because this means they have to live a lie and hide from the truth.


    Charley helps Willy unlike Howard. Howard like Ben is ruthless. Ben doesn't fight fair "it's a jungle out there." Howard will not support or be loyal to Willy even though Willy has worked faithfully for many years he still sacks him when Willy is too old to give good service.

  2. How does Arthur Miller portray the dramatic significance of Willy Loman's meeting with Howard ...

    They can tell by Howard's actions, the fact that "he only glances over his shoulder when Willy enters" that the interview is not going to go according to Willy's plan. Miller makes it clear during the meeting between Howard and Willy, that Howard is by far the dominant character.

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