Death of a Salesman

Topics: Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, World War II, Great Depression, Capitalism, Marilyn Monroe / Pages: 9 (2072 words) / Published: Oct 1st, 2008
Willy Loman’s character can be perceived as a ‘worthless commodity in a capitalist society’ or as ‘an ordinary man’. Making close reference to the play, evaluate these two interpretations and assess what you think Miller was trying to show through his character.

The 1949 Arthur Miller play, ‘Death of a Salesman’ gave birth to Willy Loman, a man obsessed with living life to achieve the American Dream unfortunately Willy did not achieve the Dream however he could never accept that. As his life went on Willy developed mental health issues which continued to deteriorate, he kept having flashbacks of times when his life was working and he was a healthy and happy man. Willy and his wife Linda had two sons; Biff and Happy, they couldn’t be more different, Happy followed his fathers failed ambitions and succeeded however Biff rebelled against his father choosing to go his own way. The playwright Arthur Miller was born in 1915 and grew up during the American Depression which lead to many once successful businesses becoming bankrupt and America saw an economic crisis. Death of a Salesman, Miller’s most famous work, has many similarities to his own life and it can be seen that Arthur Miller used his life experiences as a building block for the play.
The Miller family lead quite a poor life during Arthur’s childhood, his father provided the whole income through his women’s clothes shop which was one of the businesses that became bankrupt due to the Wall Street Crash. In 1938 Miller was offered his dream job, a scriptwriter for 21st Century Fox, however Miller turned down the offer. This is very similar to the scene where Charley offers Willy a job however Willy turns it down.
For a short time in his life Miller worked as a Salesman which of course is the main stem of the play. On August 5, 1940 he married Mary Slattery, the daughter of a Salesman, they then had two children, Jane and Robert. Robert grew up to become a director, producer and writer, it’s unknown what

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