Death of a Salesperson
The Great American Disillusionment in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesperson Opinion clouds an American man’s pursuit of success, causing unfortunate ends in Arthur Miller’s timeless production, Death of a Salesman. A post-depression age drama, Death of a Salesman challenges its audience to examine universal elements of the American Dream. Many people think about success a collision of previous effort, future objectives, and an appreciation for the present. Miller’s character Willy Loman is convinced beauty, appeal, and physical prowess is all any male needs for prosperity.
In the start, Miller introduces Willy’s flawed insight linking individual beauty to success. Act I opens with a conversation in between Willy and his spouse, Linda. While discussing their son, Biff, Willy wonders how, “a boy with such– personal appearance, gets lost” (Miller 1237). Proudly, Willy continues his high praise asking Linda if she keeps in mind how they all used to follow Biff around in high school and, “When he smiled … their faces lit up” (1237 ). As critic, Chester E.
Eisinger points out, Willy so thoroughly indoctrinates his sons with his dreams of success they, are victims of impressions” (Eisinger 101). They invent, “impossible plans for generating income,” (101 ). Willy’s corruption, “avoids his boys from accomplishing a fully grown manhood” (101 ). Willy even stoops to dishonesty and self-destruction in his efforts to appear effective. His gratitude for physical look reaches his belief that he must seem the ultimate salesman. Miller then illustrates Willy’s belief that popularity or being well liked opens all doors to success in life.
When Biff is in high school, Bernard attempts to alert Willy he, “heard Mr. Birnbaum say that if [Biff] do not begin studyin’ math, he’s gon na flunk [and] … won’t finish” (Miller 1246). Then Willy informs Bernard not to be, “a pest,” and calls him, “an anemic” (1246 ). Biff informs Willy that Bernard is, “liked, however he’s not well liked” (1247 ). Willy tells Biff, “I thank Almighty God you’re both constructed like Adonises … [Bernard can] get the best marks in school … but … the man who makes a look [and] … produces personal interest, is the male who gets ahead.
Be liked and you will never desire” (1247 ). Critic, Chester E. Eisinger asserts, “Willy’s character under pressure to be successful gnaws … [at] the Loman family” (Eisinger 101). The “simple morality of their daddy … makes Biff a burglar and drives Pleased to … sensualism and self-aggrandizing lies,” Eisinger includes (101 ). Willy overstates sales overalls and decorates his local appeal to persuade his family and others that he continues to be a possession to his business; yet his business of thirty-six years took away his salary five weeks earlier.
In addition, Miller provides Willy’s overvaluation of physical prowess in his ruthless endeavor for prestige. When Linda informs Willy that Biff is, “too rough with the women [and] … the mothers are afraid of him,” Willy blows up asking if she, “desires him to be a worm like Bernard?” (Miller 1251). Willy tells his sibling Ben that he is raising his young boys to be, “rugged, well liked, all-around” (1256 ). Ben starts to box with Biff, trips him and holds his umbrella over Biff’s eye. When everybody is surprised, Ben informs Biff that he should, “Never combat reasonable with a stranger” (1256 ).
Willy then wishes to flaunt his building capabilities to his bro and encourages Biff to go to the building website and take some sand. Charley alerts, “the watchman’ll put the cops on them,” as Willy boasts about the lumber he had the young boys take the week in the past, “worth all-kinds a cash” (1257 ). When Willy questions the method he is raising the kids, Ben tells him he’s being, “first-rate” with the kids which they are, “manly chaps!” (1257 ). Although Willy wants his boys’ lives to be better than his has actually been; he raises them with emphasis on all the wrong ideals.
He leads them to think they will prosper even if of their looks, personalities, and physiques. Ultimately, Willy’s disillusionment with beauty, popularity, and physical expertise triggers his fracture with truth when success remains beyond reach. Exhausted and unable to drive the ranges expected of him, Willy goes to his employer to ask for a regional position. Howard shows no feeling or empathy when he fires Willy, telling Willy that he requires, “a good long rest,” to come back when he feels much better and, “we’ll see if we can work something out” (Miller 1274).
In an interview with William R Ferris, Arthur Miller describes, “a lot of individuals give a great deal of their lives to a business … when they are no longer required … they’re discarded” (Ferris 1). Miller further highlights, “security is an illusion which some people are fortunate enough not to outlive” (2 ). As Willy relives his past he understands all he ought to have done differently. Willy’s reality crashes down around him when Bernard concerns what, “took place in Boston?” (Miller 1280). That night at supper, Willy’s mind takes him fifteen years in the past to where Biff made a surprise trip to Boston and walked in on Willy and another lady.
Willy acts as if absolutely nothing is incorrect and tells Biff, “she’s simply a purchaser … get my fits … I offered you an order … you mustn’t overemphasize a thing like this” (1295 ). Biff is squashed, implicating his dad, “you offered her Mom’s stockings!” (1295 ). Now, Biff tells Willy, “you blew me so full of hot air I might never stand taking orders from any person!” (1302 ). Biff sobs to Willy, “take that fake dream and burn it prior to something happens” (1303 ). Willy understands his son’s love him even after all of his illusions that appearance, appeal, and physical expertise would earn them success.
Still, he kills himself so his life insurance coverage money will go for Biff’s future; one last illusion of splendour. Works Cited Eisinger, Chester E. “CRITICAL READINGS: Concentrate On Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman: The Incorrect Dreams.” Crucial Insights: Death of a Salesperson (2010 ): 93-105. Literary Referral Center Plus. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. Ferris, William R. “A Conversation with Arthur Miller.” Liberal arts 22. 2 (n. d. ): 4. Literary Recommendation Center Plus. Web. 13 Apr. 2012. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesperson. Literature: The Human Experience. 10th ed. Abcarian, Klotz, and Cohen, eds. Boston: Bedford. 2010. 1234-1307. Print.