Death of a Salesman Symbolism

Topics: Symbolism, Kill, Failure Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: December 6, 2012
When coming across acts 1 and 2 in The Death of the Salesman we have read through many symbolic objects and patterns in the novel. Cheese:
When Linda buys Willy a new type of cheese, Willy becomes very upset because, and as was stated before, he fears making a huge change in his life, although he ironically at the same time wants nothing but change in his life in order to realize his dreams. It is because Willy never makes a decision between these two extremes that he becomes a tragic figure, without resolution. This quote symbolizes Willy’s fear of change.

LINDA: (trying to bring him out of it): Willy, dear, I got a new kind of American type cheese today. It’s whipped. WILLY: Why do you get American when I like Swiss?
LINDA: I just thought you’d like a change—
WILLY: I don’t want a change! I want Swiss cheese. Why am I always being contradicted?” (Pg 17)
In the quote Willy states that he doesn’t want change which strongly indicates that he isn’t willing to make any changes in his life and wants everything to stay how it is but at the same time wants what is best for his family.

Rubber Pipe:
In the novel Linda starts talking about how Willy is trying to kill himself and that all of the automobile accidents are actually failed suicide attempts. Linda also adds that she found a rubber hose behind the fuse box and a new nipple on the water heaters gas pipe. LINDA: “… I was looking for a fuse. The lights blew out, and I went down the cellar. And behind the fuse box – it happened to fall out – was a length of a rubber pipe – just short… There’s a little attachment on the end of it. I knew right away. And sure enough on the bottom of the water heater there’s a new little nipple on the gas pipe… I’m – I’m ashamed to. How can I mention it to him? Every day I go down and take away that little rubber pipe. But when he comes home, I put it back where it was. How can I insult him that way? I don’t know what to do… he put his whole life into you and you’ve turned...
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