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Death Of A Salesman-The Flute As A Motif

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Introduction

Death Of A Salesman The Flute as a Motif A motif is anything that occurs several times in the course of a literary work. Because they are repeated so often, motifs tend to show what is permanent in a character, a society or even the human condition. Even so, they also serve to establish a tone, a way of feeling about what is happening. In the story of "Death of a Salesman," the flute serves as a vital motif throughout the entire play. Firstly, the flute is used to show failure to the past which Willy lived and it then begins to live it on the present. Throughout the play, it is clear to see in many of the scenes, where Willy beings to drift off that the flute appears most of the time. This is a way to show that Willy is having a "regression" or a sort of failure. On page 18 of the novel, "He breaks off in amazement and fright as the flute is heard distantly (Miller, page18)." ...read more.

Middle

And we'd stop in the towns and sell the flutes that he's made on the way (Miller, page 49)." So, this reminds him of his father and he wishes he could be just like him as he was "free" and fulfilled his goals and dreams. He's remembering his childhood as he talks about the different places that they traveled. Furthermore, the flute is used to show disturbance within the mind of a character or "sickness" which Willy is suffering. It's used to show the audience that Willy is sick and that his mind is also sick. Each time he dreams or drifts off to imagination, the flute is heard in the background or at a distance. "From the right, Willy Loman, the Salesman enters, carrying two large sample cases. The flute plays on. He hears but is not aware of it (Miller, page 12)." The connotation of the flute here is being used as a way to show disturbance within Willy's mind because he is not aware of the flute although it is being played. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lastly, "Only the music of the flute is left on the darkening stage as over the house the hard towers of the apartment buildings rise into sharp focus, and the curtain falls (Miller, page 139)." The play ends with the flute being heard in the background and once again Willy Loman is alone and dead while his family leaves. The flute still continues to play as the curtain falls. In conclusion, the flute is a vital motif in the novel "Death of a Salesman" because it represents many things. It is important in showing the failure to the past which Willy lived and it then begins to live it on the present. Also, the flute is also a way for Willy to remember his father who was one of Willy's most important role models. Furthermore, the flute is used to show disturbance within the mind of a character or "sickness" which Willy is suffering. Lastly, the flute is also used as a characteristic of Willy because each time Willy appears, the flute is there with him. The flute has undeniably shown great importance and significance in "Death of a Salesman. ...read more.

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