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The paper highlights the failures of Willy, Linda, Biff and Happy in their quest for the American dream of success. The paper analyzes the betrayals within this family and points out that Miller, despite his criticism of the Loman family, clearly views their corrupt values and malfunctioning social dynamic as produced, at least in part, by an American system that equates wealth with self-worth.
From the Paper:"At the beginning of the play, it is revealed that the salesman Willy Loman is being forced to work on commission, a humiliating status for an older man at his company. Willy gradually comes to believe he is worth more dead than alive. But before he kills himself, Willy is finally told the truth by his eldest son, Biff, about the nature of their relationship. Willy's first and greatest betrayal in life, in his eyes, occurred when Biff refused to go to college and play football, refusing to make up a failed math class in high school. Biff felt betrayed by his father because his father was unfaithful to his mother Linda, so he gave up his scholarship out of spite. Despite the image of the happy family the Lomans try to project to the world, this shows they are far from the perfect nuclear unit--Happy is openly deceitful in his work and has a shifty character, and Willy and Biff have a strained dynamic for most of the play. All the while, Linda functions as an enabler, trying to keep the peace, and refusing to see her husband and sons as they really are."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin, 1996.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Failure and Betrayal in "Death of a Salesman" (2012, May 15) Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/failure-and-betrayal-in-death-of-a-salesman-150985/
"Failure and Betrayal in "Death of a Salesman"" 15 May 2012. Web. 20 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/failure-and-betrayal-in-death-of-a-salesman-150985/>