Miller Death Of A Salesman Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Subject: Urban Studies Type: Term Paper Paper: #83616497 Related Topics: A Beautiful Mind, Funeral Home, Life After Death, Football
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Death of a Salesman is the story of Willy Loman and his obsession with personal attractiveness, financial success and popularity as the most important traits in life, and the ones most likely to lead to his vision of what success is. As it becomes more and more clear to him that he is not a big success, that he is no longer handsome, and that he is not particularly popular, he cannot face this reality, and begins revisiting his past so strongly that the incidents he remembers seem real to him. The play is an example of ordinary people overwhelmed by circumstances. It can fairly be called a tragedy. The main character has a tragic flaw -- his obsession with superficial traits and his insistence that it is these superficial qualities that are important. This flaw leads to his downfall. He has methodically taught his sons to value superficial values and to rationalize mistakes, for instance, re-representing Biff's theft of a football from the school as ingenuity.

When, finally, he can no longer delude himself into thinking that he, and his sons, are happy, popular and successful, the only answer he sees is suicide. He is not aware of at least one significant achievement: the mortgage...


He will have paid for the house, free and clear.

The play provides a catharsis for the audience, main character has a tragic flaw, has a universal quality. Willy Loman could have been our uncle; the Lomans could have been the family next door. The play has a protagonist in Willy Loman, but the antagonist is Willy's belief in superficial values.

The inciting incident occurs when Willy returns home early from a sales trip because of disturbing daydreams he had while driving. He reports opening the windshield and enjoying the fresh air, and yet the windshield cannot be opened on the car he has now. That was a feature on an older car he no longer has.

Clearly stressed, he begins to fantasize about events that took place earlier. His boys were handsome and well liked, so grades didn't matter. His brother, Ben, who was an adventurer, had tried to get Willy to go with him to Alaska, where Ben had done very well for himself. Then, after Willy's mind returns to the present, his next-door neighbor, Charley, offers Willy a job. Willy rudely turns him down, viewing the job as beneath a great salesman like himself. Willy has set himself up for the events that will follow; he has cut off all avenues of escape.

This is…

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