"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller
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An examination of the themes of illusion and the American Dream in "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller. The play repeatedly shows the main character Willy Loman deluding himself into believing he is successfully pursuing his view of the American Dream financial success through business. Miller does this in two ways in particular. First, he constantly has the characters rewriting events so that when they are retold they reflect how they wish their lives really were instead of the reality of what happened. Second, as Willy Loman loses his grip on reality, he relives events from his past. By the end of the play, so many of Willy Loman's illusions about himself have been shattered, but his illusions about his son Biff are stronger, and he imagines that his suicide will guarantee his son's business success.
From the Paper:"Willy has also constructed illusions around his sons, especially Biff, who truly was well liked in high school. Willy puts more emphasis on Biff's athletic talents and personal charm than is realistic, and encourages Biff to do the same. Chasing athletic fame for his son, Willy isn't concerned when Biff steals a football from the team he plays for, and encourages him to steal sand to aid in a home renovation project. Biff's friend Bernard reminds Biff that he needs to study for exams or risk not graduating, and both Biff and his father make fun of him for this. He encourages his sons to do dishonest thing, suggesting that Willy's views about how to get ahead include setting personal values aside."
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"Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller (2003, February 03) Retrieved February 26, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/death-of-a-salesman-by-arthur-miller-8543/
""Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller" 03 February 2003. Web. 26 February. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/death-of-a-salesman-by-arthur-miller-8543/>