Death Of A Salesman: The Tragedy Of One Man



Jason Koch
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman can be seen as an eulogy of a
dreamer, which depicts one man's tragic life and death as he tries to bring
his family into grace. Miller does, however, also uses this play to
express underlying themes and ideas. Reading Death of a Salesman from the
starting point of a Marxist results in the perception that miller uses his
play as a means to demonstrate the effects of a changing capitalist society.
On the other hand, a psychological reading of Death of a Salesman allows
the play to be seen as one mans flight from shame and his own weakened self
image. The Marxist perspective is a viable reading of this drama but it
does not truly define ...

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grandiosity but also
their inherent contradictoriness.
Willy's dreams of success are rooted in the concept of the
"American Dream", which is the idea that this is a land of unlimited
opportunity in which any ragamuffin can attain riches and any mother's son
can become president (Hadomi 159). This concept of success is personified
by two characters in the play: David Singleman and Ben Loman. The first
an old sales man, David Singleman, who could travel anywhere and place
many order by phone in his hotel room. And when this man died at the age
of eighty-four people came from all over to attend his funeral. This is
the type of man Willy aspires to become and this is why he chose sales as
his occupation. Ben, Willy's older brother, is another symbol of the
ruthless success Willy tries to reach in his life. "There was the only
man I ever met " Willy says, "Who knew all the answers"(Meyer 1734). Willy
has treasured up the memory of Ben until it is more real to him than any ...

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a crack to be found in it any more"(Meyer
1744). Belittling Charlie, Willy says, "A man who can't handle tools is
not a man"(Meyer 1730).
But it is important to note that carpentry is no more his work in
the world than it is Charley's. Willy marches in Karl Marx's army of
alienated labor, performing work that is "not personal to him, is not part
of his nature ; therefore he does not fulfill himself in work, but actually
denies himself...It satisfies no spontaneous urges, but is only a means for
satisfication of wants that have nothing to do with work"(Koon 65).
Willy's allienation, however, is perhaps more excruciating than even Marx
could have imagined. Business civilization ...

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Added: 7/15/2007 04:05:40 AM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3541
Pages: 13

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