Death of a Salesman

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One theme that I found in both Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman” and August Wilson’s “Fences” is disloyalty and dishonesty. The main characters in both stories, Willy in “Death of a Salesman,” and Troy in “Fences” both completely lost their loyalty and honesty with their wives as they have affairs with other woman. In both stories, Troy and Willy’s behaviors and attitudes are very different from one another in relation to how they handle their family and marriage. However, their actions go hand in hand with one another. In both stories, the wives take the responsibility of holding the family together showing the strong character in each. Another similarity in both stories is the dysfunctional relationships between the main characters and their sons. Through these relationships, between Willy, Troy, and their families, it becomes obvious to why Willy and Troy take part in their unfaithful behavior.

In “Death of a Salesman,” the stress and heartbreak his wife Linda has to face is not directly from his cheating. In fact, the pain that she feels comes from Willy’s impossible dreams. Leah Hadomi from Modern Drama wrote “When reality becomes too painful, Willy retreats into a dream world consisting of his roseate recollections of the past and of fantasies in which he fulfills the aspirations the attainment of which has eluded him in life. Although his memories are based on actual events, these are falsified in his mind by wishful thinking about how they ought to have turned out.” Linda supports and cares for the family throughout Willy’s stupid and foolish attempts to be successful. She sometimes falls for his crazy hopes for success but she is able to keep herself in reality. Willy’s scared but is still persistent in reaching success. Failing is something he can’t accept, for example, his relationship with his son Biff. To Willy, Biff has failed his family due to his career choices he’s made. The real failure comes when Willy fails not only himself but his...
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