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Conflict in 'The Death Of A Salesman'

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Investigating Conflict in Act 1 of The Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller The conflict in Act 1 of Death of Salesman is quite a strong theme throughout the scene, but the major conflict is more than just conflict between two characters. One of the most prominent forms of conflict in this scene is the conflict between Willy's dreams and Willy's reality. Willy's reality often conflicts with his hopes. Throughout his life, it is clear he has built up elaborate fantasies to deny how clear it is becoming that he has become somewhat of a failure, in that he has failed to meet his high expectations and demanding desires he set for himself. ...read more.


There are many occasions where he contradicts himself, an example could be when he refers to his car as "a piece of trash" before almost immediately changing what he says and he then calls it "the finest car ever built." Another example is when referring to Biff, Willy says "Biff is a lazy bum" and then almost straight after saying "there's one thing about Biff. He's not lazy". These contradictions are usually caused by a change in the conversation, for example when he is agreeing with Linda, and then when he decides to turn it against Linda. The relationship between Linda and Willy, is also another form of conflict, Willy often has a go at Linda at things which are not her fault. ...read more.


As an adult Biff has never held a steady job, and it this that annoys Willy. Willy cannot let hold of his American Dream, and he places a lot of pressure on Biff to fulfill it. Because of his father's constant reminding of this, Biff feels inadequate. Willy wants Biff to fulfill a career that Biff has little or no interest for. Conflict is a major part of Act 1, and it is used very effectively in the telling of the story, as the conflict allows a lot of different emotions to be portrayed in this Act. Just from the beginning of The Death of A Salesman, you can tell that conflict will carry on and play a major part in the rest of this play. Jack Boddy ...read more.

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