Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman in 1949 and established himself as a respected modern American author. He was born in 1915 in New York City. He began writing plays when he was a student at the University of Michigan; even though, his family suffered financial problems with the depression and had to work to get his college education. His play Death of a Salesman won a Pulitzer prize and was made into a movie; 1952 and 1985. Arthur Miller wrote his autobiography, Timebends in 1987 and is still alive.
Death of a salesman is a story based on the last two days in the life of a typical American husband and father who has misplaced values and considers suicide as a solution. the story takes place in "Willy Loman's house and yard and in various places he visits..." in a modern setting. There are numerous flashbacks to reveal character histories.
Ben is Willy's dead brother, who is part of this story as a flashback to Willy. He first appears as if he was a ghost, but then his appearance leads into a flashback. Ben comes and goes in the play, this is because in the past he would only stop by from his round trips just to say hello. When he appears he is always wearing a white suite which symbolizes a ghost. In one occasion Ben appears when Willy is playing cards with Charlie, Willy's unconditional friend. Charlie is a large man, slow of speech, laconic, immovable. "In all he says, despite what he says, there is pity, and, now, trepidation." In flashbacks he has a fun character, unlike his son Bernard.
Bernard is a serious character, he is the same age as Willy's sons. Throughout the whole play Willy's sons, Biff and Happy, make fun of Bernard when the only thing he wants is the best for Biff. In the flashbacks Biff seems to be the only character besides Linda, Biff and Happy's mother. Happy is Willy's youngest son, but not the favorite. Happy is always doing something to get attention, for example, he would do push-ups and say, "I'm losing...
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