Death of a Salesman

Topics: Time, Self-awareness, Audience Pages: 1 (417 words) Published: May 13, 2012
Death of a Salesman:
Choose a play which explores the themes of self awareness:
Miller makes clear that Biff is very unsettled and had not yet pursued in any form of career. This is demonstrated in the dialogue in which Willy is complaining to Linda that Biff has not amounted to anything. "Linda: He's finding himself Willy." And Willy replies angrily: "Not finding yourself at the age of thirty four is a disgrace." The audience can see straight away that Biff has not matched up to his fathers expectations in life. Willy cannot comprehend why Biff has to become a successful business man. The problem Biff has is he still accepts his fathers distorted idea of the American dream which is that anyone who is well liked with "personal attractiveness" can become successful. Willy misses out a key factor which is hard work. Biff has not achieved self awareness due to the lies that Willy has been embedding into his brain for his whole life. Miller uses a flashback to show the audience the contrast between adult Biff and teenage Biff. "Missed you... touchdown... Taking one play for pop."

Miller introduces the flashback from the boys youth using music and props. "single trumpet note jars the air" which alerts a shift in time to the audience. "green leaves" are also used on the stage to indicate the scene is from the boys youth. Green symbolises growth and life. The audience see immediately the loving relationship with his father. Above all, the flashback is extremely useful as it shows why present time Biff has no awareness of what he wants. Willy tells them that the studious Bernard will not do as well as Biff and Happy because he is not "well liked". This links back to Willy's distorted idea of the American Dream. He fills the boy's heads that popularity will get them a good job. This is proved wrong by Miller later in the book because Bernard turns out to be a successful lawyer. The restaurant scene is the turning point of Biff's life. For the first time Biff realises...
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