Arthur Miller Essays (Examples)

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Miller and Eliot on Beauty Comparing and

Words: 3310 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73887617

Miller and Eliot on Beauty

Comparing and Contrasting "Beauty" in Miller and Eliot

Arthur Miller and T.S. Eliot are two 20th century American playwrights. While the latter is more commonly noted for expatriating to Britain and writing some of the most memorable poetry of the early 20th century, the former is noted for his famous depiction of the common man's struggle to find meaning and fulfillment in Death of a Salesman. As distinct as the two writers may seem, they both conceive of and treat the theme of beauty -- Miller analyzing its absence in Salesman, and Eliot analyzing its abandonment in several poems like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Wasteland." This paper will compare and contrast both writers and show how they deal with the theme of beauty in their works.

The Absence of Beauty in Salesman and "Prufrock"

Beauty is missing from Willy Loman's life in Death of a Salesman, and Miller represents this fact by contrasting Willy to his surroundings through various motifs. Motif is a literary device constantly used throughout Salesman to bring to light certain points (ideas such as peace, happiness, success, defeat, and awe). Miller, however, does more than merely…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Aristotle. "Poetics." Internet Classics Archive. Web. 12 Oct 2011.

Barstow, Marjorie. "Oedipus Rex as the Ideal Tragic Hero of Aristotle." The Classical

Weekly 6.1 (1912): 2-4. Print.

Blasing, Mutlu Konuk. American Poetry: The Rhetoric of Its Forms. New Haven: Yale
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Miller's Death of a Salesman

Words: 817 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 77573295

Biff deliberately gives up all chances of graduating from high school, and leaves his college dreams behind.

For a long time, Biff feels some anxiety about his chosen lifestyle out West. He enjoys the freedom of his rootless life, but feels somewhat guilty that he has given up so much, after so much was expected of the early promise he showed. His cousin Bernard, less athletic but more studious, has distinguished himself as a lawyer. His Uncle Ben, Willy's idol, found diamonds while wandering in the wilderness, while Biff has only, in his view, wasted his time doing very little, and making very little money.

When he comes back to see his parents, Biff contemplates going into business with his unethical brother Happy, who is very much like a younger version of Willy. But after a certain point, Biff realizes that this would simply be, in his words, "trying to become what I don't want to be." (Miller, p.125) Unlike Willy, forever trying to please others and make a show of his status, Biff refuses to lie. "Pop," he says to his father, who has falsely indulged him, idolized him, and despised him all of his life, "I'm nothing. I'm…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." The Portable Arthur Miller. New York, Penguin, 1995.
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Arhtur Miller S The Crucible

Words: 1664 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 31934885

Arthur Miller, notable playwright, wrote the 1953 play, The Crucible that focused on the partially fictionalized and dramatized story of the Salem witch trials that occurred between 1692 and 1693 in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The play was written as an allegory of McCarthyism due to the American government blacklisting of accused communists. Even Miller was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on what can be labeled as "Un-American Activities" during the late 1950's and was convicted in 1956 of contempt of Congress for the refusal of identification of others that were present during the meetings Miller had attended. Miller's drama was then translated into his play through themes of intolerance, hysteria, and reputation.

The first theme that The Crucible describes in the beginning of the play is intolerance. With the play's setting in a theocratic society, where the church and state serve as one, the government uses religion as a means of control through an austere, strict form of Protestantism, Puritanism. States laws and moral laws are treated as the same and a person's status and sin become matters of public concern. Practice of witchcraft in such a society will instantly place the practitioner into a position…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller's The Crucible. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2010. Print.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 2003. Print.
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The Use of Fear Tactics in Miller Crucible

Words: 1715 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 99094203

Arthur Miller penned the play The Crucible in the context of McCarthy-era rhetoric and anti-communist propaganda in the United States. Although it has a literal and direct historical reference and application to the Salem witch trials, the play serves as an overarching metaphor for public persecution and the dangers a police state poses to the general public. Through The Crucible, Miller critiques American society and indirectly accuses patriarchy of dismantling some of the core norms and values upon which the nation was built. Moreover, Miller deftly draws analogies between Salem's persecution of women during the witch-hunts and Washington's persecution of all Americans during the Cold War. Whereas women were the only real targets during the witch trials of the late 17th century, all Americans had fallen under the indiscriminate policies of political discrimination. Miller therefore presents patriarchy within a Marxist as well as a postmodernist framework. As a Marxist, Miller draws attention to the owners of the means of production of power. As a postmodernist, Miller shows how institutional coercion and conformity to social norms create an entanglement of ideals and a conflagration of the ethos upon which nations are founded. Fear tactics become one of the core means by…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Adler, Thomas P. "Conscience and Community in An Enemy of the People and The Crucible." In Harold Bloom. Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

Ardolino, Frank. "Babylonian Confusion and Biblical Inversion in Miller's The Crucible." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology

Martin, Robert A. "Arthur Miller's The Crucible: The Background and Sources." Modern Drama, Vol 20, Issue 3, DOI: 10.3138/md.20.3.279

Miller, Arthur. "Why I Wrote The Crucible." The New Yorker. Oct 21, 1996. Retrieved online:
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Death of a Dream Arthur

Words: 1256 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28429052

Throughout the play, Willy longs for the wealth, privilege, and equality the America was alleged to have been built upon until he can no longer deny that the promises of the American dream are just an illusion. While this is without a doubt a scathing critique of capitalism, at the same time, the play seems to be trying to show that nothing is truly real and once you remove all of the 'bells and whistles.' In other words, 'real' people, just like the American dream, are a myth. No one is immune to putting on a 'front' for other people, but when the opinions of others dictate your life and your decisions, this is when the human soul begins to deteriorate. Willy Loman is the characterization of this corrosion.

The death of the American Dream portrayed in the play, as well as the constant comparisons between the rich and the poor are evident. The reason for this strong focus on consumption of only the best and the finest appears to be that those who do not have the best clothes or the shiniest cars are considered to be less valuable or less worthy of respect than the "leisure class" who…… [Read More]


Bloom, H. (1991) Willy Loman. New York: Chelsea House

Miller, a. (1998), Death of a salesman, New York: Penguin Books

Novick, J. (2003) Death of a salesman: Deracination and its discontents. American Jewish History 91(1), 97-107
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Three Essays Critiquing Miller S Crucible

Words: 2895 Length: 9 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 87738223

Crucible and What I Have Learned

Arthur Miller's The Crucible is a dramatic, engaging work that challenges the reader/viewer to see beneath the "black and white" dichotomy by which the world is simplistically characterized via such "venerable" institutions in America as the "right" and the "left," the "conservative" and the "liberal" establishment, and the "patriot" and the "traitor" conception. In this play, Miller brings to the fore the fact that there can be and often are conflicting motives within every single human heart, a phenomenon that colors the way people act, interact, think, speak, and -- yes -- betray. At the heart of The Crucible is a drama of sexual tension and spite -- a girlish revenge twisted into something much more heinous by the cruel paroxysms of a community going mad with suspicion, condemnation, and holier-than-thou syndrome. It is a play that reflects one of the sinister secrets of the American experience -- the Puritanical roots of the New World society in which truth, love and mercy have no place and where fear, mob rule, and irrationality dominate. However, it is also a controversial play, which has been interpreted in many different ways by various critics. This paper will…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Murray, Edward. "The Crucible." In, Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Ed. by Harold

Bloom. NY: Bloom's Literary Criticism.

Popkin, Henry. "Arthur Miller's The Crucible." College English vol. 26, no. 2 (Nov.

1964): 139-46.
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Tituba Comparing and Contrasting Arthur

Words: 1642 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 27280834

Miller focuses a created, heterosexual alliance in his fictional retelling, but I, Tituba concentrates on the outcasts, which formed the actual, majority of the accused.

This alliance between marginal categories of persons is humorously underlined with Tituba meets a famous fictional outcast from Puritan society, Hester Prynne, while in jail. Conde creates a jailhouse meeting between the two women, since who knows what transpired while Tituba awaited her fate? Marginal women do not abandon Tituba, even though her Christian owner, the girls she helped, and her beloved John Indian abandon her to her execution. Hester Prynne helps Tituba say the right things to be released. Confession in Miller is shown as weakness and capitulation to the mad witch hunters, but Conde sees this as careful and clever planning, a just action because of the injustice of Tituba's captors. Finally, the alliance of 'others' is shown when Tituba, is freed from captivity from a Salem jail as a result of Hester's assistance.

The alliance of 'others' after Tituba is bought a Jewish man named Benjamin Cohen who is sympathetic to her persecution. He frees her allows her to return to Barbados. The causes of the witch-hunt, racism and fear, are not…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Conde, Maryse. I, Tituba. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994.

Ebert, Roger. "The Crucible." 1996. Film Review. Chicago Sun Times. 7 Jul 2007.

Linder, Douglas. "The Crucible by Arthur Miller (1952)." Salem Homepage. Famous American Trials. Last Update 2007.

Miller, Arthur. "The Crucible." 1996. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Wynona Ryder.
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Life Truth or Power Arthur

Words: 1079 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 96549216

Whether this actually takes place is not the topic of this discussion, however. It is only important here in the sense that if it is taking place, it would fall into the discussion of whether it is right to use the power that these individuals have and keep that power instead of telling the truth, even if the truth may diminish the power that they previously enjoyed.

The most important Arthur Miller quote for this discussion, however, would be "...the strongest man in the world is the man who stands most alone." This quote is very important when looking at whether truth or power is more important, because it indicates that the man who tells the truth is the one that is often shunned and ignored, while the powerful people continue to use (and abuse) that power in order to stay ahead of others. It is unfortunate that individuals feel the need to do this, but it takes place every day in many different ways, but particularly in the political arena, which is where it also takes place in Miller's work. Answering the question of which is more important, however, is still very difficult, as there will be people that…… [Read More]

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Real Tragedy of Miller's Death

Words: 1542 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 50060320

He continued to repeat the same behavior without at least trying to do something different. His dream probably kept him alive a little longer than he might have lived otherwise. As pathetic as his dream was, he owned it and believed he could reach it on some level. Willy's tragic flaw begins with a delusion. He chooses to foster that delusion instead of moving in another direction. He takes the lazy way out of the situation because anything else would take him out of his comfort zone and he might actually develop into something successful. Willy lies to himself and to those around him because that is easy as well. Willy is a fictional character but he is far more real than many would like to admit. His humanity makes him worth studying because many people live in this kind of complacent, unfulfilled state. Willy is his own obstacle and his death is the only action that can break the endless cycle of futility.

Works… [Read More]

Works Cited

Ardolino, Frank. "I'm not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman!': The Significance of Names and Numbers in Death of a Salesman." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. (2002) 174.11.

Phelps, H.C. "Miller's Death of a Salesman." Explicator. 53.4. (1995) p239-41.

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston:

Little, Brown and Company. 1985. 1030-1114.
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Death of a Sales Man

Words: 1695 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 8221680

Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and the death of the American Dream:

The play "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller shows the falseness of the American dream, namely that by obtaining material security for one's self and one's family, one finds true happiness. Willy, even during his lifetime expresses dismay he has worked a lifetime to pay for his house, only to not have his favored elder son live in it. He takes his life, feeling that he is better off dead, rather than living and working on commission, and his wife's final outcry at his grave that the family now owns the home and is free and clear seems hollow -- clearly she would rather have a living husband and debt, than a dead husband, an empty life, and a full bank account. Happy states to Linda, "he had no right to do that. There was no necessity for it. We would've helped." Willy's friend, ever the injection of realism into the drama merely says "Hmmm," while Biff urges Linda to "Come along, Mom," from Willy's grave. (Miller, 6.1) Death is the final, indissoluble contract that cannot be renegotiated.

Loman's suicide at the end of the play…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Abrams, Nathan. "Arthur Miller." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Last Updated January, 29, 2002. November 26, 2004.

Ardolino, Frank. "Like Father Like Sons." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. Vol. 25,. 2004.

Bentley, Eric. Modern Drama. Prentice Hall. New York. 1951.

Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.
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Death of a Salesman

Words: 1642 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 74266638

Arthur Miller's Play Death Of A Salesman (1949)

Thematic Analysis

One of the central themes in the Author Miller's play, Death of a Salesman, is the concept of the American Dream. The concept of the American Dream has been one of the fundamental beliefs of the American community since the country's inception. The basic concept is fairly egalitarian in nature and states something to the effect that if an individual truly devotes themselves to improving themselves and their situation, then they will ultimately find prosperity through their hard work. This prosperity is possible because there are few truly limiting factors that can prevent someone from reaching their goals in the U.S. of lore and whatever obstacles that are present can be overcome through dedication and resourcefulness.

James Truslow Adams was among the first to explicitly refer to the American Dream in his book The Epic of America, which was written in 1931 in which the author stated that the American dream is:

"that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret…… [Read More]


Adams, J. The Epic of America. Simon Publications, 1933. EBook.

Fitzgerald, F. The Great Gatsby. E-artnow, 2015. Complete Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Miller, A. Death of a Salesman. Persons Education, 2007.
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Death of a Salesman

Words: 675 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 84384276

Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"

Perhaps no other play in American history has captured the essence of the nation's collective consciousness during a particular era than Arthur Miller's 1949 drama Death of a Salesman. Presented predominately from the perspective of aging salesman Willy Loman, this contribution to dramatic literature is at once absurd and tragic, with Miller employing several distinct authorial styles to tell the story of an increasingly senile Loman, who wavers between states of lucidity and fantasy throughout the narrative. Several members of Loman's family play central roles in Death of a Salesman, including Willy's loyal wife Linda, his failed sons Biff and Happy, and each character is an extension of the protagonist himself, representing the overall ordinary nature of his life despite delusions to the contrary (Koon 31). The reason that this play has come to encapsulate the prevailing American identity during the era in which it was published stems from Miller's uncanny ability to imbue Loman with a disturbing feeling of familiarity, because when one reads the play in textual form, or views an enactment on stage, it becomes immediately clear that Willy Loman represents the failed ambitions of an entire nation.

Even the character's…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Goodman, Walter. "Death of a Salesman: Review." New York Times 28 Apr 1999, E1. Print.

Koon, Helene, ed. Twentieth century interpretations of Death of a salesman: a collection of critical essays. Simon & Schuster, 1983.

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman. 1949." The Portable Arthur Miller (1976): 3-133.
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Death of a Salesman by

Words: 1681 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 35817863

Biff, by no means, was him a lazy bum, he had many different jobs before, but did not stay long at any of them, so he was not a dependent user who would wait for others to provide for him, he actually worked. The perception of Willy on Beff's job is evident when he speaks about Biff's recent job as a farm hand with disdain. He demeans the job without caring that it was a means where he would make an honest living. It indicates that no matter the job he would have picked for himself, Willy would not have supported him unless it was the one that brought the glory and reverence to the Lamon family name (Magil 1365-1368).

Thematic issues like father-son relationships that the author pursues in his writing: Biff and Will's relationship is not only representative of how fathers plan and map out their child's life, without pausing to consider the fact that the children may opt to live their lives their own way. Narcissism exhibited by Willy also brings to the fore another aspect the writer dives into, and that is how all of the characters lied and even went to very extreme lengths, to…… [Read More]


Bender, David, "Arthur Miller," San Diego CA: Greenhaven Press 1997, 5-6

Corrigan, Robert, "A Collection of Critical Esays" Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice hall, 1969 98-107

Miller, Arthur "Death of a salesman" New York, Penguins 1949, 10-13

Magil, Frank "Death of a Salesman: Master plots" Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem, 1976. 1365-1368
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Zeroing in on Seven Iconic Plays

Words: 3745 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 95015358

Pygmalion -- George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw -- one of the most well regarded playwrights -- wrote this comedy and first presented it to the public in 1912. He took some of the substance of the original Greek myth of Pygmalion and turned it into a popular play. In Greek mythology Pygmalion actually came to fall in love with one of his sculptures, and the sculpture suddenly became a living human. But in this play two older gentlemen, Professor Higgins (who is a scientist studying the art of phonetics) and Colonel Pickering (a linguist who specializes in Indian dialects) meet in the rain at the start of this play.

Higgins makes a bet with Pickering that because of his great understanding of phonetics, he will be able to take the Covent Garden flower girl -- who speaks "cockney" which is not considered very high brow in England -- and make her into a well-spoken classy big city girl. It turns out that the flower girl (Eliza Doolittle) actually wanted to pay in order to be able to be better spoken. In the play she is being transformed into a sassy, perky lady, and as the play moves along, Higgins…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bennett, A. (2008). The History Boys. London, UK: Farber & Farber.

Glaspell, S. (1921). Inheritors: A Play in Three Acts. Berkeley, CA: University of California.

Glaspell, S. (2008). Trifles. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan

Hellman, L. (2013). The Children's Hour. Whitefish, MT: Literary Licensing, LLC.
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Appearance vs Reality

Words: 1134 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 51299450

Appearance vs. Reality

Discrepancies between inner and outer realities:

1984 versus Death of a Salesman

Both George Orwell's dystopian classic novel 1984 and Arthur Miller's realist stage drama Death of a Salesman create a contrast between appearances and reality in order to criticize the political and social structure that exists in society and its negative effects on the protagonists. In Orwell's novel, the world within Winston Smith's head is far more real than the propaganda manufactured by Big Brother. In contrast, the dramatic techniques used by Miller illustrate how Willy Loman lives in a fantasy world of his own making that stands in sharp contrast to the reality of the world inhabited by his loved ones. Orwell's novel is a critique of idealized socialism, a world where everyone is supposedly equal but where people have no freedom, even the freedom to think. Miller scathingly critiques the American Dream that it is easy to 'make it big' in America through a poignant tale of a salesman who is cast off by the company he worked for throughout his life, which now treats him as if he is no longer valuable.

The discrepancy between appearances and reality is most starkly manifest in…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin Plays, 1976.

Orwell, George. 1984. E-text available:
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Play Death of a Salesman

Words: 1339 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61527706

Willy knew if he accepts his wife support, he would have to move on and change for the better, which did not fit his idea of being happy because he could not live in the past.

From a counselor point-of-view, it seems that Willy's emotions affected his rational decisions because he did not want ton accept the changes that were occurring in his life. The chances that emotionality would affect rational decision-making are very high since people who blame others for their problems usually live by their emotions, which does not include rational thinking. Furthermore, at times like these, it would not hurt for the counselor to interject their values in the session so that rational decision-making can have a chance to calm the client. This is true even though there are times where the counselor should not share their values with the client especially when he or she is being aggressive with their feelings and emotions. When the client is aggressive with their emotions, they will not be reasonable listening to other values and take them into consideration.

From this example of how Willy is taking the changes in his life into prospective, it is clear that he does…… [Read More]

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American Explored Depicted in Death

Words: 885 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 9525131

To make matters worse, he never even considers that he might not be as good as he thinks so he never seriously considers doing anything else. Willy does not know when to cut his losses and let go. Charley gives us an accurate description of Willy when he says, "For a salesman, there's no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back -- that's an earthquake" (1113). Charley's words capture the dreamy Willy. He understood Willy's blind nature and though he tried to help him, he knew it was worthless.

Willy is also an example of what not to do when pursuing the American Dream because he cannot accept responsibility for his life and, therefore, cannot take his life in a new direction. He has a problem with lying not only to himself but lying to everyone else as well. He looked for excuses that gave him a way out. For example, to explain why things are not going well for him, he…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1985. pp. 1030-1114.
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Death of a Salesman by

Words: 1938 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 26588042

Critic Heyen says, "There is no question but that the play is elusive. As Miller himself has said, 'Death of a Salesman is a slippery play to categorize because nobody in it stops to make a speech objectively stating the great issues which I believe it embodies'" (Heyen 47). Therefore, many critics look at the play in different ways, attempting to categorize it and reference it according to their literary and dramatic experience. Heyen, on the other hand, tries to give his own personal reaction to the play, which is that Willy dies happy because he thinks what he is doing is right. He says, "Willy Loman, and this is his new and peculiar dimension, ends up dying happily, ecstatically, because he holds to the dream of meaning, holds to his sort of spiritual Franklinism" (Heyen 56). Willy dies happy, believing he is doing the right thing, and in the end, the insurance money is more important than his life, his family, and his dreams.

In conclusion, "Death of a Salesman" is a tragic story of the American dream gone bad, and a man who is a complete failure, unable to care for his family or find his dreams. Instead…… [Read More]


Clurman, Harold. "Willy Loman and the American Dream." Readings on Arthur Miller. Ed. Tomas Siebold. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997. 132-136.

Heyen, William. "Authur Miller's Death of a Salesman and the American Dream." Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House,1988. 47-57.

Jacobson, Irving. "Family Dreams in Death of a Salesman." Critical Essays on Arthur Miller. Ed. James J. Martine. Boston G.K. Hall & Co., 1979. 44-52

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Masters of Modern Drama. Ed. Haskell M. Block and Robert G. Shedd. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962. 1020-1054.
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Death of a Salesman Theme the American Dream Betrayal and Abandonment

Words: 2200 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 93727941

Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

Themes of Disillusionment in the American Dream, Betrayal, and Abandonment in "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

"Death of a Salesman," Arthur Miller's best play created in 20th century, is noted for its effective portrayal and illustration of the American life in the character of its tragic hero/protagonist, Willy Loman. Set at a time where the so-called "American dream" is fulfilled by every Americans during the 1940s, "Death of a Salesman" reflects the dreams of material progress that every American had dreamed of -- thus leading to the rise of the middle class, and eventual economic growth in the country.

Given this historical context, it is remarkable that "Death" offers a different facet or perspective in discussing how the concept of the "American dream" has become a reality or illusion for the society. As in the case of Willy, despite the progress that most Americans had experienced during the said period, there are also people who experienced failure, attributed to either external factors or individual faults, or both. What the "Death" brings into light, ultimately, is the emergence of the themes of disillusionment in the American dream, betrayal, and abandonment, which are…… [Read More]


Ardolino, F. (1998). "Miller's Poetic Use of Demotic English in "Death of a Salesman." Studies in American Jewish Literature 17.

Centola, S. (1993). "Family values in "Death of a Salesman." CLA Journal, Vol. 37, No. 1.

Hayman, R. Arthur Miller. NY: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.

Miller, A. (1976). Death of a Salesman. NY: Penguin Books.
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Oedipus the King by and

Words: 1446 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 96090190

Sophocles writes, "Tiresias: That's your truth? Now hear mine: honor the curse your own mouth spoke. From this day on, don't speak to me or to your people here. You are the plague. You poison your own land" (Sophocles, 2004, p. 47). Each of these men has positive qualities, but their tragic flaw outweighs these qualities, and leads to pity and their downfall in the end. In addition, their tragic ends have tragic consequences on those around them, which is another element these two works have in common.

It is interesting to see the similarities in the plotting of these dramas as well. Essentially, they follow the tragic character from a turning point in their lives to the culmination of their problems and how they choose to face them. Their families and loved ones are left behind to sort out their lives without them, while they take the "easy" way out, suicide or banishment. With these choices, they evoke pity in the audience, but they also show their underlying weak characters, that ultimately cannot deal with adversity and defeat.

The differences between the two characters are based in the time they are written and in the author's differences. Willy is…… [Read More]


Miller, Arthur. (1962). Death of a salesman. Masters of Modern Drama. Haskell M. Block and Robert G. Shedd, ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Miller, Arthur. (2005). Tragedy and the common man. Retrieved from the Virginia Community College System Web site: Feb. 2007.

Palmer, R.H. (1992). Tragedy and tragic theory: An analytical guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Sophocles. (2004). The Oedipus plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the king, Oedipus at Kolonos, and Antigone (Bagg, R., Trans.). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
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Crucible vs Mccarthyism Fear Over

Words: 967 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 95329905

Most of the American public did not know what communism or Marxism really was as an ideology, they simply knew that it was 'bad' and it was 'un-American,' although logically it could be argued that nothing is more un-American than prosecuting a person for holding certain political beliefs.

The tragedies of Miller's "The Crucible" and the McCarthy hearings are that good men and women, as well as fearful and ignorant people were silenced by the witch hunts. People who defended the accused were called witches themselves. This can be seen when Proctor and Mary Warren are both, at different times and for different reasons called witches. When they defy Abigail's desires, their nonconformity makes them vulnerable to being accused. Witchcraft and communism are shadowy forces in the public imagination because neither is fully understood.

Both witch hunts begin with dramatic events -- the 'fits' of the Salem girls; the take-over of Eastern Europe -- but the critical difference, many critics of Miller pointed out, is that unlike witchcraft, communism was a real historical force. Although McCarthyism destroyed many careers and many lives in America, communism resulted in the loss of millions of lives in Stalinist Russia and Eastern Europe. The…… [Read More]

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Girls in Bikinis From A& p

Words: 1911 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 31770274

This skilled use of ironic prose is also observable in "A Jury of her Peers" by Susan Glaspell, as when the woman who has just committed murder tells the investigators: "after a minute...'I sleep sound.'" the tale depicts how a group of women gradually deduce, through small and simple clues, how Mrs. Wright killed her husband, and why. The women's observations are more astute than the male investigator's analysis, according to police protocols. The point of the story is not murder, but the fact that the murder's quiet wifely desperation has gone ignored for so long, and that only fellow female sufferers can see this sorrow after the fact. Likewise, the point of O'Connor's story, more than the lurid aspects, are the ways that families and human beings fail to connect and communicate with one another, before it is too late.

A naysayer might sniff and ask why use murder as a way of dramatizing a central truth of human life? Firstly, O'Connor and Glaspell use aspects of human reality -- they do not create fiction out of whole cloth. Serial killers exist and so do battered wives who turn on their husbands. By representing the extremes of life, and…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Glaspell, Susan. "A Jury of her Peers." 6 May 2007.

Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." 6 May 2007. 

O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." 6 May 2007.
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Self-criticism I Once Heard Cornel

Words: 1398 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 31791053

What you do in life, good, bad, otherwise, comes back to haunt you. And the suicide of Robert X is an embodiment of that lesson.

In reading about this book, in preparation for this essay, I came across a conversation the author had with John Lowe concerning the tight narrative quality of the book, and I think in commenting about it, Gaines underscores one of the book's major themes:

WP: There's nothing wasted in that book. It's totally honest and almost foreordained from the beginning, from the first page.

Gaines: A great man falls, and what he's going to do when he gets up. He feels that even God had failed him. He could not even please God any more (Lowe 184).

This theme, or question rather, of how does one deal with failure is an important one, on the individual level as well as on the group level. How does one deal with personal failure? How does a team, a group, deal with failure? Does one take the easy way out (i.e. suicide)? Does the group give up its collective goal? These questions are integral to the process of self-examination, and that's what Gaines is asking the reader to…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Gaines, Earnest J. In My Father's House. New York: Vintage, 1992. Print.

Lowe, John. Conversations With Earnest Gaines. Mississippi: University Press, 2008.


Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin, 1996. Print.
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Making the Familiar Unfamiliar

Words: 2199 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 73046565


Part of the process of staging a play is to make the familiar unfamiliar, to isolate elements so as to suggest reality, the familiar, in an unfamiliar way. Plays do not take place in the real world but in a created world, a world set in one isolated spot (the stage) with several specific individuals isolated from real life (characters) interacting in a manner that conveys thematic issues and concerns to the audience. Such communication is controlled in a way that real life is not. Issues are isolated from the extraneous and conveyed in a way that has been shaped by the playwright for maximum impact. In the play Conduct of Life by Maria Irene Fornes, the familiar is made unfamiliar first in the setting, which is suggested as a set of four horizontal planes selectively illuminated and selectively populated as characters move from one area to another, evoking images of life but not life itself.

Maria Irene Fornes was born in Havana, Cuba. She emigrated to the United Stats and became an American citizen. She was trained as an artist, but she began writing plays while she was living with Susan Sontag in the early 1960s. She developed…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Drukman, Steven. "Notes on Fornes (with apologies to Susan Sontag)." American Theatre 17(7)(September 2000), 36.

Fornes, Maria Irene. "The Conduct of Life." In Plays, Fornes, 65-88. New York: PAJ Publications, 1986.

Griffiths, Trevor R. And Carole Woddis. The Backstage Theater Guide. New York: Back Stage Books, 1991.

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. In 50 Best Plays of the American Theatre, Clive Barnes (ed.), 425-472. New York: Crown, 1969.
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Power Corrupts and Absolute Power

Words: 1116 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 63475347

...Children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificate -- died of malnutrition -- because the food must rot, must be forced to rot."(Steinbeck, 391) Thus, Steinbeck makes a cogent commentary on the corruptibility of the human being under the influence of power and economical profit.

Arthur Miller's All My Sons also exemplifies the way in which power can determine unethical acts and abuse. Thus, the protagonist of the story, Joe Keller is a corrupt manufacturer who, in the past, has taken advantage of his power and has knowingly killed over twenty army pilots when he sold defective equipment for the planes. Just as in Steinbeck's novel inhumanity was shown to be the main consequence of the abuse of power, in Miller's play the question of honor is raised. Joe Keller, in spite of the fact that he is not an evil man, has acted dishonorably putting the material profit above all else. As Miller shows, honor is no longer considered a value in the modern, profit-oriented society where the American Dream of economical power and success have taken the place of morality: "He used to shoot…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Hammond, Susan Hazen. The Women Warriors.

Gibson, P.J. Long Time Since Yesterday. New York: Samuel French, 1985.

Miller, Arthur. All My Sons. New York: The Modern Library, 1987. Steinbeck, John.

The Grapes of Wrath. New York: New Directions, 1988.
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Family Betrayal in Myth Modernist

Words: 1414 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 35615999

Keller's morals are good -- he does not merely seek to win glory for himself, like the simplistic motivation of the man in the fable, he wished to 'make good' for all of his sons. But greed, ambition for his family and himself, and foolishness took hold instead. He loses his sons because of his actions, one of them to suicide, and the others emotionally.

Keller's son Chris likewise is a complex psychological figure. He has a very clear-cut view of the world, and condemns his father, and his father's actions outright. He acts as though he can no longer love his father, because his father has profited from an evil action. This indicates that Chris wants an ideal father, but instead he is confronted with his 'real,' fallible father. He also does not value money and material success the same way his father does. Because of his experiences in combat, he has come to value human life more than money and the conventional trappings of material success. Although he is more moral than his father, however, the audience does not entirely sympathize with his logical overview of the situation. Although in a fairy tale, the characters of Joe and…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Gibson, P.J. Long Time Since Yesterday. Samuel French, Inc., 1986

Hammond, Susan Hazen "The Kidnapped Wife and the Dream Helper." From the Spider

Woman's Web. 177-182

Miller, Arthur. All My Sons. New York: Penguin, 2000.
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Resisted Embraced How Explored Prescribed Text The

Words: 710 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 80759890

Resisted Embraced

How explored prescribed text "The Crucible" Arthur Miller related text "Woolvs in the Sitee" Anne Spudvilas?

Societal insiders and outsiders in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the existence of outsiders in the tight-knit, homogeneous society of Salem, Massachusetts gives rise to a witch hunt that eventually results in the death of the protagonist John Proctor. Proctor is a plainspoken, honest farmer who refuses to condone the hysteria of the town, which he knows is at least partially stirred up by his former lover Abigail to enhance her social status and to separate him from his wife. Proctor also does not go to church on Sundays, out of guilt for his sin against Abigail. This makes him a pariah in a society where open professions of religion are required to be deemed 'normal.'

While Proctor, a respected farmer, holds himself back from Salem society, Abigail wishes to belong. She is looked down upon as a loose young woman, but her status as someone who can 'see' witches makes her special in the eyes of the town, and she gains power and notoriety as a result. This highlights how simply because someone is an outcast does…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin Classics, 2003.

Wild, Margaret. Woolvs in the Sitee. Boyds Mills Press, 1997.
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Carl Sandburg Ambrose Bierce Stephen

Words: 2254 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 87953629

In a fighting scene, we see how he is filled with an "intense hate" (111) and when he "was firing, when all those near him had ceased. He was so engrossed in his occupation that he was not aware of a lull" (111). After this incident, Henry throws himself down "like a man who had been thrashed" (111). Those around him saw him as "a war devil" (112).

Here we see how Henry has an animal instinct to fighting and it makes him look like a madman. Here we get an example of how we are aware of Henry's thoughts and feelings as well as what is going on around him. Crane also allows us to see the reactions of those around him to emphasize what it is that Henry is experiencing. By leaving the narrative to Henry's experiences alone, we are more apt to believe that it really happened to him.

In addition, when Henry does earn his "badge" it is not in the most noble of ways. However, Crane allows us to see how Henry has been changed by the overall event of the war -- not just by winning his badge. We read that Henry "felt a…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bierce, Ambrose. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Bain, Carl, ed. New York W.W. Norton and Company. 1991.

Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: Aerie Books Ltd. 1986.

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1985. 1030-1114.

Sandburg, Carl. "Prairie Waters by Night." Bartleby Online. Site Accessed November 5, 2004.
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Death of a Salesman by

Words: 1128 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 51558379

Finally, there is a sense of release or uplifting at the end of the play. Linda's comment, "We're free" (Miller 1054) seems to encapsulate the family's struggles and inner turmoil. Willy has died in a blaze of glory, utterly convinced he is doing the right thing, and perhaps that has made his last moments happier than they have been in years. He will never know he failed again, and failed his family in the most permanent way. However, there was so much argument, turmoil, and strife in the family, perhaps removing himself was really the thing the family needed. There is a feeling, even though it may be implied, that the family will come together as a result of Willy's death, and that they will survive. There is also a feeling that the two sons will have some impetus to make something of themselves, even if it is because they fear ending up just like their father did.

Biff is the only one to voice what they all know or suspect, and this illustrates how much Willy's lying and secrecy has shaped the family. This is his legacy, a family that distrusts him and cannot speak their minds, for fear…… [Read More]


Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Masters of Modern Drama. Haskell M. Block and Robert G. Shedd, ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1962. 1020-1054.
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Decent Man in Death of

Words: 649 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 30746211

The writer's intention was most probably to emphasize how certain behavior can lead to a terrible outcome. This is obvious through Charley, considering that he too is a business man, but that his self-control assistes him in understanding the difference between right or wrong. Surely, it would be absurd to claim that Charley is not interested in becoming more successful than he is. However, this does not mean that he is willing to risk everything he has in order to have that happen. The fact that Charley was satisfied with his position whereas Willy considered his best friend's success to be nothing in comparison to Dave Singleman's illustrates what each of the characters wanted from life. Through giving J.P. Morgan as an example, Charley actually demonstrates that one does not necessary has to be well-liked in order for the whole world to appreciate him.

Charley is decent enough to let those around him do as they please, considering his behavior toward his wife and his son. In contrast, Willy insists that his sons do as he wants them to, as he believes that this is the only chance for them to achieve something. Willy does not understand Charley's role in…… [Read More]

Charley is decent enough to let those around him do as they please, considering his behavior toward his wife and his son. In contrast, Willy insists that his sons do as he wants them to, as he believes that this is the only chance for them to achieve something. Willy does not understand Charley's role in his life until his last moments, when he takes time to think about everyone he knows, only then recognizing who his best friend was. Charley's support comes even though he knows Willy does not actually care about him, given that he sees the best of Willy and does not pause from doing everything in his power to help his friend. He does this in spite of the fact that he is aware that it is very likely for Wiley not to return his benevolent acts.

Brandt, George W. (1998). "Modern theories of drama: a selection of writings on drama and theatre 1850-1990." Oxford University Press.

Miller, Arthur. (1952). "Death of a salesman: play in two acts." Dramatists Play Service.
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Role Playing vs Reality in

Words: 1074 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 45248496

All along, Miller's salesman was creating a tableau vivant, in his work and in his family. If you put the right characters on stage, you create the right image.

In Willy Loman's mind, Dave Singleman, that "single" salesman, no doubt created the proper image. Even Singleman's death was that of a salesman, "When he died -- and by the way he died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers in the smoker of the New York, New Haven and Hartford, going into Boston -- when he died, hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his funeral." A traveling salesman should die on the road, as Dave Singleman obviously did. What greater tribute to a way of life than to die in the course of one's duty? Appropriately, as well, Loman's hero received the adulation of his peers - the ultimate complement in the eyes of a man who believed everything should be done for show. Singleman's public death on a train bound from New York to Boston, put him leaving America's great metropolis, heading off toward some still greater heavenly sales field. The attention that such a death would attract would be wider still, unusual enough that…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Boehm, Christopher. Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

From the Tour: Titian and the Late Renaissance in Venice." The Collection, National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2006. URL: .
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Death of a Salesman the

Words: 998 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 76243596

And this is perhaps the most important underlying notion of Miller's play. The American Dream, which can perhaps be seen as the principle at the heart of the work, is also the ambition which pushes Loman through his life of artifice and vain pursuit. In a flashback, Willy is shown to be a man of aspiration, who wishes to transform his diligence and respect for authorities into a life of comfort and reputation. Even wishing eventually to start his own business, Willy Loman is a startling figure insofar as his decline does not occur without a background of optimism and forward momentum. This is the crux of Miller's point though, that there is an illusory nature to the expectations of the American Dream. Working for somebody else's ideals and to line some other rich man's pockets his whole life, we find that Willy has been exploited by the false promises of this dream.

It is at the play's inception that Willy acknowledges, even if somewhat unconsciously, that he is at the end of a road which never led to its expected destination. Returning from an aborted trip, Willy tells his wife, "I'm tired to death. . . I couldn't make…… [Read More]

Works Cited:

Miller, a. (1949). Death of a Salesman.
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Tragedy and the Common Man He Contemplates

Words: 459 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 6014917

Tragedy and the Common Man," he contemplates the idea that only the wealthy, noble characters can fully understand tragedy, and therefore appreciate it. That thought is not a reflection of his own opinion, as Miller argues the case of tragedy and the common, working class man - for tragedy knows no income boundaries, but rather that this person would "lay down his secure one thing - his sense of personal dignity." To that end, Willy Loman epitomizes what Miller is speaking about.

Willy Loman is most certainly a tragic hero, according to the modern-day, Arthur Miller type definitions. Loman is hardworking and relentless in his pursuit of his American dream. His tragic flaw is that he cannot recognize how desperately his family wants to love him, yet Willy loves his family deeply enough to sacrifice self in order to give Biff the American dream that he could not obtain himself.

Unlike the Oedpius' or Caesar's of Shakespeare's time, Loman is not the self-assured King of anything - in fact, he is quite the opposite. His insecurities as a dad, a man, a husband and a salesman are what the tragedy is built upon. Loman would not be the character…… [Read More]

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Generation Conflict and the American Dream

Words: 777 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 49855165

Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, and "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts" by Maxine Hong Kingston. Specifically, it will discuss conflict between generations and the "American Dream" in the two works. Both of these works clearly show the conflict between generations that often results from differing views of the "American Dream," the dream that is so elusive to so many of us.

Author Kingston's story is fact, rather than fiction, but the generational differences between her and her mother are still apparent. She remembers, "We'd have to face four- and five-day-old leftovers until we ate it all. The squid eye would keep appearing at breakfast and dinner until eaten. Sometimes brown masses sat on every dish. I have seen revulsion on the faces of visitors who've caught us at meals" Kingston 108). Her life is far different from her mother's, and she is firmly entrenched in the American Dream, calmly ignoring her culture and heritage until her mother dies. Kingston writes thoughtfully, "Chinese-Americans, when you try to understand what things in you are Chinese, how do you separate what is peculiar to childhood, to poverty, insanities, one family, your mother who marked your growing with…… [Read More]


Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. New York: Vintage International, 1976.

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Masters of Modern Drama. Haskell M. Block and Robert G. Shedd, ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1962.
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Poem Explication on My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke

Words: 631 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 71955670

Papa's Waltz"

The Play as Literature

In an art form which imitates the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, the star -- Kitty -- is a needy, insecure, and unstable actress. Putting the entire movie production at risk -- and her own reputation, as well -- her hysteria and fragile emotional state keep everyone on the edge of outright hostility. How can a world famous actress -- loved by millions -- not see what the rest of the world sees?

Flora, one of the star's acting coaches, makes several references to her emotional need for love, yet too often, "Love is the Great Impossibility." The well-meaning intentions of svengali-like coaches and a mild-mannered but well-respected writer husband do nothing to quell the fear living within Kitty's heart.

As Kitty lies prone and naked on her bed, prostrate with her own fear and power, Jerome -- one of several acting coaches -- looking like a Freud-imitating drugstore cowboy and Derek -- the director of the doomed movie enter her room without a thought to her modesty or privacy. The hysteria and emotional turmoil spill over onto Jerome who feels he is being held accountable for Kitty's constant ailing excuses not…… [Read More]