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Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman
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Death of a Salesman Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Visions of America
While characters such as Willy, Linda, and Happy believe the U.S. to be a wellspring of easy opportunity and imminent success, the 1940s America of Death of a Salesman is crowded, competitive and m...
Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
Willy Loman is a dreamer of epic proportions. His dreams of material success and freedom ultimately dwarf the other aspects of his mentality to the point that he becomes completely unable to distin...
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. Willy convinces himself that he is successful, well l...
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...
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. He celebrates his son’s popularity in high school, asserting th...
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 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...
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...
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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