Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1915-2005)
Explore the ways in which Miller constructs the identity of Willy Loman and what is suggested by his interactions with his work and his wife in this extract. Thesis Statement:
In the passage, Miller criticises society for being stifling and breaking down youths once full of passion into meek workers resigned to their fate. To convey this, Miller uses Loman, an exaggerated version of what the population is going through. They are battered from exhaustion, too accommodating as they are afraid of change and also mentally crushed.
Topic Sentence 1
Miller constructs the identity of Willy Loman as one that largely comprises of him being “the Salesman”. The entire dialogue in the passage was dedicated to work, although they were placed in a homely setting, showing that it is hard to separate the private self with the public working self.
Evidence from passage: The identity “the Salesman” is one that identifies Loman the most accurately. The title, “death of a salesman”, also shows that the identity of being a salesman triumphs over all his other identities and even his name.
He is also depicted to be living a very rigid, robot-like life.
Evidence from passage: Each action is stated clearly in a mechanical manner. “He closes the door” “then carries his cases out into the living room” or “unlocks the door” “comes into the kitchen” “thankfully lets his burden down” “feeling the soreness of his palm”
Topic Sentence 2
Loman is also seen to be, after 60 years of his life in this stifling capitalism system, resigned to his fate. He is beaten down and is dubious of new prospects as he is much too comfortable and familiar to his current life.
Evidence from passage:“You’re too accommodating, dear.” “I couldn’t make it” “his massive dreams and little cruelties, served her only as sharp reminders of the turbulent longings within him, longings which she shares but lacks the temperament to utter and follow to their...
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