An analysis of the main themes in the death of a salesman

The definition of a tragedy is a story that tells the downfall of the main character as a result of his own mistake.

An analysis of the main themes in the death of a salesman

Characters[ edit ] William "Willy" Loman: He is 63 years old and unstable, insecure, and self-deluded. Willy tends to re-imagine events from the past as if they were real.

He vacillates between different eras of his life. Willy seems childlike and relies on others for support, coupled with his recurring flashbacks to various moments throughout his career.

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His first name, Willy, reflects this childlike aspect as well as sounding like the question "Will he? Linda is passively supportive and docile when Willy talks unrealistically about hopes for the future, although she seems to have a good knowledge of what is really going on.

She chides her sons, particularly Biff, for not helping Willy more, and supports Willy lovingly even though Willy sometimes treats her poorly, ignoring her opinions over those of others. She is the first to realize that Willy is contemplating suicide at the beginning of the play, and urges Biff to make something of himself, while expecting Willy to help Biff do so.

Biff was a football star with a lot of potential in high school, but failed math his senior year and dropped out of summer school when he saw Willy with another woman while visiting him in Boston. He likes being outdoors and working with his hands, yet wants to do something worthwhile so Willy will be proud of him.

Biff steals because he wants evidence of success, even if it is false evidence, but overall Biff remains a realist and informs Willy that he is just a normal guy and will not be a great man.

He has a restless lifestyle as a womanizer and dreams of moving beyond his current job as an assistant to the assistant buyer at the local store, but he is willing to cheat a little in order to do so, by taking bribes. He is always looking for approval from his parents, but he rarely gets any, and he even goes as far as to make things up just for attention, such as telling his parents he is going to get married.

He pities Willy and frequently lends him money and comes over to play cards with him, although Willy often treats him poorly.

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Charley offers Willy a job many times during visits to his office, yet Willy declines every time, even after he loses his job as a salesman. He worships Biff and does anything for him.

Later, he is a very successful lawyer, married, and expecting a second son — the same successes that Willy wants for his sons, in particular Biff. Bernard makes Willy contemplate where he has gone wrong as a father. He is dead, but Willy frequently speaks to him in his hallucinations of the past. He however sees Willy as a liability for the company and fires him, ignoring all the years that Willy has given to the company.

Howard is extremely proud of his wealth, which is manifested in his new wire recorder, and of his family. A waiter at the restaurant who seems to be friends or acquainted with Happy.

A girl whom Happy picks up at the restaurant. She is very pretty and claims she was on several magazine covers. Happy lies to her, making himself and Biff look like they are important and successful.

An analysis of the main themes in the death of a salesman

Happy claims that he attended West Point and that Biff is a star football player. Summary[ edit ] Willy Loman returns home exhausted after a business trip he has cancelled. Willy complains to Linda that their son, Biff, has yet to make good on his life.The Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller - The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is a play about Willy Loman and his loving family.

SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: Themes

The Allegory of the Cave is a symbol for the differences between thought up ideas and what we see as reality. This lesson looks at V.S.

Naipaul's short story, 'B. Wordsworth'. We'll first take a look at its plot summary and then we'll examine each of its major themes one at a time. This lesson looks at V.S. Naipaul's short story, 'B.

Willy poses this question to Howard Wagner in Act II, in Howard’s office. He is discussing how he decided to become a salesman after meeting Dave Singleman, the mythic salesman who died the noble “death of a salesman” that Willy himself covets. (Click the symbolism infographic to download.) Death of a Salesman takes place primarily within the confined landscape of the Lomans’ home. This narrow, and increasingly narrowing, setting is co (Click the symbolism infographic to download.) The seeds that Willy insists on buying and planting. 🔥Citing and more! Add citations directly into your paper, Check for unintentional plagiarism and check for writing mistakes.

Wordsworth'. We'll first take a look at its plot summary and then we'll examine each of its major themes one at a time. Get an answer for 'In the play, "Death of a Salesman", do you think Willy is the main character or Biff?In the play, "Death of a Salesman", do you think Willy is the main character or Biff?' and.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Home / Literature / Death of a Salesman / Analysis / Setting ; Analysis / Setting ; SHMOOP PREMIUM Summary SHMOOP PREMIUM SHMOOP PREMIUM This, of course, ties into many of the play's themes.

Death, divorce, marriage, retirement, career changes, empty-nesting, moving Whether we instigate a stressful event or feel like the victim of one, navigating the transitional waters of change is hard.

Death of a Salesman - Wikipedia