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Flashbacks in "Death Of Salesman"

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Introduction

´╗┐Usage Of Flashbacks James Kim (g) In Death Of A Salesman, Arthur Miller uses flashbacks, dramatic narrative technique. These flashbacks are normally used to express past ideas at the current status quo, which help readers get a clear insight of the character?s background. The commonality of these flashbacks used by Miller is they are all based on Willy Loman?s old memories. They reflect on the audience as what is going through Willy?s mind when he is lured into this dream state and how this differs to when he has a reality check. Generally, the flashbacks simply represent what Miller thinks about during the last stages of life before he suicides. These past reminiscence and imaginary details expressed by Miller unveil the past of the Loman family and what led to their current state as a family. There are 2 main flashbacks that have significant impacts on the Lomans. The first flashback is when Willy falls in his ?Living The American Dream? state where his sons idolize him and the distinction between Bernard and Biff is shown. ...read more.

Middle

In this flashback, Willy imagines Biff and happy holding onto his suitcases entering grandly into his stores. Such imagery detail expressed by Miller can be seen as the representation of what Willy thinks of his son. Furthermore, the comparison between Biff and Bernard is truly made through this flashback. Bernard is considered a complete nerd and Willy absolutely fail in the world of business where the only factor of competition is physical appearance. Willy thinks that Biff can outperform Bernard in ever aspect of the business society because Biff is generally well-liked proven by the point ?Bernard is not well-liked, is he?? This unreal and idealistic concept of Willy?s that one?s outward appearance is all that matters in business as a salesman is what eventually turns out costly to the Lomans. The irony comes in when the readers find out that Bernard later becomes one of the top lawyers in the country while Biff gets nowhere. This is just one of several where Willy?s predictions on life has turned out false. ...read more.

Conclusion

And by God I was rich.? Ben is an incarnate of success for Willy that explains why he wants his son, Biff, to have Ben as his role model. Such advice given by Willy unveils his failure for not following the rules of the Jungle expedition, which could have been the key route to success. The flashback reveals Willy?s true mind of not being able to accept the truth about himself. He acknowledges the fact he is not being appreciated by society anymore or if he ever was. This signifies that he actually understands the reality of this scene but he soon contradicts himself into thinking that he is successful when he says ? I won?t have you mending stockings in this house? His confidence of his financial state is recalled and proves his inability to accept the things the way they are. It is too stressful and mentally painful for Willy to accept his own failure as a salesman and his ineptitude to be ?well-liked?. Willy uses flashbacks because he finds it easier to create a reality of his own where he is successful, thereby forming disorder. The irony and imagery behind Willy?s flashbacks are what Miller manipulates to show the true nature of Willy. ...read more.

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