Death of a Salesman

Topics: Abandonment, Suicide, Family Pages: 4 (1505 words) Published: May 1, 2012
Death of a Salesman Essay
Betrayal and abandonment are themes that many have encountered within their lives; but nobody can perhaps relate as much to these themes as Willy Loman, the main character in Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller. This play encompasses the life of Willy Loman, albeit not in any particular order when reviewing his younger years. The man’s memories are prompted by various seemingly insignificant moments in his life. Willy is a failed salesman, clinging onto his fabric of lies he has built up throughout his life, and attempting to pull his broken family relationships back together, all while slipping in and out of trances within his life. The man invests everything into his sons, Biff and Happy, and is constantly wondering what went wrong with his life, and covering his failures with excuses and lies. Eventually, when the reality that his life is meaningless and his sons are worthless comes crashing down on him, he commits suicide in a desperate attempt to prove his worth to his sons and himself. Betrayal and abandonment are themes that have reoccurred through his life, from when his father abandoned him when he was young, to when his sons leave him in a restaurant, babbling like a maniac in the bathroom. His son, Biff, in his own eyes, ironically induces the final betrayal because Biff refuses to accept Willy’s fevered, dementia-driven dream for his son.

Abandonment is one of the foremost figures in Willy’s life, from his current life and even when he was young. In his introduction, he describes his current status in his sales career. “I know it when I walk in. They seem to laugh at me…I don’t know the reason for it, but they just pass me by. I’m not noticed.” (23) This describes his life currently; a man to be tossed aside in his old age and near uselessness. Here, he has not yet realized the uselessness of his current career and status; he continues his futile lies to his wife as to the income he currently makes and how much he is...
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