Comparison Essay Between Catcher in the Rye and Death of a Salesman

Topics: Death of a Salesman Pages: 3 (1232 words) Published: September 18, 2008
Pressures In Human Society

A common idea presented in literature is the issue of the freedom of the individual in the constant pressures of society. In the play “Death of a Salesman” by, Arthur Miller, Willy Loman is a good example of this, as well as a sixteen year old boy named Holden Caulfield in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by, J.D Salinger. They are both men living in a controlling society, and feel it is too hard to keep up with all of the expectations. Holden is always looking at the world in a negative way, pointing out the negativity in everyone, and everything around him. Willy on the other hand is an old man with two children, who is constantly pressuring his son Biff Loman to become something worth living for. They are both men in a monetary based society who are both looking for some respect, and can not cope responsibly with how they earn that respect.

In the novel Death of a Salesman the character named Willy Loman is an insecure self diluted traveling salesman who wants to achieve one thing in life, what he calls the American dream. Willy has deluded himself all his life about being a big success in the business world. Willy has a loving loyal wife, Linda, and two sons, Biff and Happy. Biff is his oldest son who is thirty four years old, and the one who Willy puts the most pressure on to do well in life. Willy is constantly pressuring Biff to become something important, to go to university and get a well respected job, just so he will be accepted and “be somebody” in society. While Biff just wants to do what he loves, and could care less about being accepted in the materialistic world. . “I saw the things that I love in this world. The work, and the food, and the time to sit and smoke, and I looked at the pen and I thought, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be . . . when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I...
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