Death of a Salesman Literary Analysis

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Death of a Salesman Literary Analysis

By | Jan. 2011
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Trent Beebe Beebe 1
Mr. Arena 4th hour
AP Lang & Comp
12/17/09
Death of a Salesman Essay
The story, Death of a Salesman, is a story that has many literary devices that help to make it the deep and riveting story that has become an American classic. The use of symbols in the story adds to the overall effect and theme and also creates a different mood that the reader must infer from it. The symbols not only represent something in the story as literally a symbol, but of much importance because of the numerous times they appear in the work. There are countless symbols in the story that help to give the reader a different feeling for it but there are a select few that really represent the most important themes and ideas from the book.

The use of seeds in the story as a metaphor for Willy Loman’s life gives the reader a short and simple thought of Willy’s thought on life. Willy believed that if he worked hard and set a good example for his kids that he would in turn be successful and they would eventually be successful. His thought was the same as that for the seeds; you plant them, put some effort into trying to grow them, and they will grow to be big and strong. His boys would be like the plants in a way that they would grow to be big and strong and successful and provide for the family but that never ended up happening and Willy was disappointed about this. Willy was mainly disappointed because he felt like a failure as a father to Biff. Biff had everything going for him, All-American football player, ladies man, anything he wanted he could get. Willy thought the highest of Biff and eventually Biff never really made anything of himself and was basically a bum. All of what had happened to Biff reflected back onto Willy and Willy felt that it was his fault and felt he failed as a father.

Another use of symbols is almost a minor one because of its little insignificance to the play, but its broad idea can be easily understood when fully...