Death of a Salesman Symbolism
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is a play full of symbolism and themes that are intertwined with one another throughout the entire play. Most of these symbols are either symbolizing something that cannot be had, or something that is wanted but simply cannot be reached. The three symbols particularly used in this play are diamonds, seeds, and Linda's stockings, all of which are either not obtained or simply used to leave a legacy.
The symbolism of diamonds in this play portrays tangible wealth and how wealth in the world can be taken by the hand in the literal form. Willy sees how Ben can tangibly grab wealth and live the life of elegance from that point on. While Willy feels he is past the point of literally finding wealth in a great big sum like Ben, he encourages his two boys Biff and Happy to find it. "There's a new continent at your doorstep, William. You could walk out rich. Rich," (1939). Ben tells Willy of the opportunity to tangibly become rich just like him and Willy undoubtedly wishes this upon his son Biff and tells him of the greatness he would obtain in his life by simply walking into richness.
Willy knows of his soon death and wants to leave something behind. Willy's planting the seeds symbolizes him attempted to leave something behind in his name that he accomplished. Willy has only worked his whole life to make money and support his family and has never really left something historically for his boys just as his father never left him. "Oh, I'd better hurry. I've got to get some seeds. I've got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground." (1959). Willy leaves the restaurant with an anxious need of seeds in order to go home and plant to leave behind something tangible for his family and others to show the worth of his labor. In order to prove to everyone his labor wasn't in vain he must plant the seeds and eventually they will blossom and mirror the root...
Cited: Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Literature: An
Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. XJ. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Custom ed. For San Jacinto College Central. Boston: Pearson Custom, 2005. 1897-1969.
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