Death of a Salesman: a Different Perspective

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Death of a Salesman: A Different Perspective
Jeanne Gordon
Shawnee State University
IDST Civilization and Literature
November 21, 2011

In Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller, Willie Loman is a salesman! In the introduction of the play, we can see exactly how Miller feels about a person being a salesman by the reply he made to a comment and said " he sells what a salesman has to sell, himself. As Charley insists , the only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. As a salesman he has got to get by on a smile and a shoeshine. He has to charm. He is a performer, a confidence man who must never lack confidence. His error is to confuse the role he plays with the person he wishes to be" (as cited in Death of a Salesman,1998, pp xxv). Arthur Miller understood the impact that the societal beliefs of what constitutes being a success had on the average man and how he viewed his current social status in relation to what his dreams of it were. I don't view Willie Loman as being some crazy old man, but a man who has worked hard to provide for his family. I see him as a man that had the same hopes and aspirations for his sons that every parent has. I respect Willie Loman. However, as a medical professional I am going to stick with my original assumption that in addition to being a salesman, he is a man that is suffering from Alzheimer's dementia. My goal is not to take away from the belief that Willie is a man that just hasn't figured out yet who he is, but as Willie Loman, an ordinary man that is suffering from Alzheimer's Dementia. I am going to provide information collaborating the parallels between symptoms of Alzheimer's and Willie's actions throughout the play.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning-thinking, remembering, and reasoning-to such an extent that it interferes with a person's daily life (Healthy People 2020). Dementia affects an individual's health, quality of life, and ability to live independently....
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