Death of a Salesman

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Ryan Jones
Ms. Dye
AP Literature
2 February 2011
Devastation, Lies, Death of a Salesman
The play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is about the events leading up to the death of a man, this man is Willy Loman. Willy may have been a father to two men but these two men were not sons to this man. They were once proper sons but a fateful event changed it all. This family's history has been shrouded in the darkness of lies. Some of these lies are denial and others are deception, a common situation for families everywhere. Arthur Miller exposes the effect that dishonesty, with one's self and others, can have on any family through the lies that surround and ultimately engulf the Loman family in Death of a Salesman. The most prevalent form of lying lurking around in Death of a Salesman is denial or lying to one's self. The first victim of this subconscious occurrence would be Happy, his ironic name leads to the first example. He is not a satisfied man, he wants more but leads others to believe that he has a shot at a position of authority within his grasp; this is shown when Happy says, “...when he walks into the store the waves part in front of him. That’s fifty-two thousand dollars a year coming through the revolving door, and I got more in my pinky finger than he’s got in his head.” (18; act :1) In this instance he is describing his boss, a man who is probably much better than himself, but Willy has been stating that Happy is the best that any man could hope to be for so long that he now feels that he is somehow being oppressed by the corporate world. The situation is quite the contrary however; it is later implied that he is just a clerk at his place of employment nowhere closer to the top than any other average man. He lies and is lied to so much that he ultimately concludes that it is truth. His refusal to believe reality was seeded early in his life with his father's denial towards his work and his sons. When Willy would come home from a...
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