Death of a Salesman

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 517
  • Published : October 29, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Themes and Motifs

1. Inadequacy: As Biff goes through life, he never actually commits to anything. He never shows his full potential. Biff has had insufficient jobs such as a shipping clerk, a salesman, and a businessman only to discover that life is only a “manner of existence.” He is also an insufficient worker. When Biff worked for Bob Harrison, he would whistle in the elevator like a comedian. A big businessman cannot raise a young man to do a responsible job when he acts that way. 2. Ignorance: While Willy was up one night, Charlie walks in and says that he cannot sleep because he has heartburn. Willy explains to Charlie that if he had taken his vitamins so that he would develop strong bones, he would not be up in the middle of the night with heartburn. Everyone should know that vitamins and strong bones have nothing to do with heartburn. Willy is also ignorant when he tries to kill himself. As he was driving slowly down the road, he comes to this bridge. He deliberately ran into the railing. If it were not for the fact that the water was shallow, he would have died. 3. Pride: When Biff is younger, he becomes the star of the football team. He becomes prideful when all of the girls at school begin to follow him around and when his friends begin to give him answers on tests and on homework. Biff thinks that he will not get in trouble for anything that he does. When Biff steals a football from his coach, Willy allows him to get away with it, which was a boost to his pride. Uncle Ben is prideful he is telling the story of his adventure in Africa. He quotes, “ Why, boys, when I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty one I walked out. And by God I was rich.” 4. Self -Awareness: At the beginning of Act 1, Willy was traveling back from Yonkers when he suddenly realizes that he is driving off of the shoulder. He completely forgot that he was driving. Most of the time, Willy does not even realize when he begins to talk to...
tracking img