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Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

  

by Arthur Miller

 Table of Contents

Death of a Salesman Themes

Death of a Salesman Themes

Visions of America

O beautiful for spacious skies? Yeah, not so much here. While characters such as Willy, Linda, and Happy believe the U.S. to be a wellspring of easy opportunity and imminent success, the 1940s...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Like Susan Boyle and Selena, Willy Loman is a dreamer of epic proportions. His dreams of material success and freedom dominate his thoughts to the point that he becomes completely unable to disting...

Lies and Deceit

The Lomans are all extremely self-deceptive, and in their respective delusions and blindness to reality, they fuel and feed off of one another—kind of like praying mantises do after mating. Willy...

Success

Throughout Death of a Salesman, Willy pursues concrete evidence of his worth and success. He is entranced by the very physical, tangible results of Ben’s diamond-mining efforts and strives to val...

Respect and Reputation

Reputation is one of Willy’s primary concerns. He thinks that all you need to succeed is to be attractive and well-liked. Ha!—if only it were so easy. He celebrates his son’s popularity in hi...

Appearances

The entire Loman family places heavy value on appearances and good looks. Many of Willy's fondest memories of Biff involve his son dwarfing others with his personal attractiveness. In addition, wh...

Pride

Pride in Death of a Salesman functions as a means of self-deception and as a coping mechanism. The Lomans, and particularly Willy, are extremely proud even though the basis for their pride is not...

Abandonment

Abandoned by his father and brother when he was extremely young, Willy is left materially and emotionally ungrounded. However much he fears abandonment himself, he made his son Biff feel emotional...

Freedom and Confinement

The theme of freedom and confinement is closely tied to economic security in Death of a Salesman. Linda and Willy long to escape both the physical confinement of their home and the economic confin...

Betrayal

Death of a Salesman is full of betrayal. Willy betrays Linda’s love and Biff’s trust with his affair. As the chief betrayer himself, Willy is preoccupied by the fear of betrayal. His fr...

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