Death of a Salesperson: Symbols
Death of a Salesperson: Symbols Lots of symbols are integrated into the play “Death of a Sales man” and they in turn connect to both character and theme. The hose pipe, tape recorder and the seeds are a few of these signs. The pipe in Miller’s drama directly connects to the style of d eath. The hose pipe is a line attached to the gas primary in Willy’s home which enables him to snif f the gas. This action can be seen as Willy’s suicide wish, and escape from the truths of life. As seen in the loss of his job and his failure to prosper.
The hose also represents sorrow and deceptiveness. For when Linda, Willy’s partner, discovers the tube, she is distraught over its in tended purpose. The misleading nature of the hose is apparent when Willy is confronted about it by Biff his son and Willy rejects its presence. A comparable rejection is likewise apparent when Willy is faced with the tape recorder in Howard’s office. The tape recorder represents the modification in Willy’s life throug h the improvement of technology. It also represents completion of Willy’s career.
This is brought about when Howard, Willy’s employer and godson, reveals the tape recorder to Willy and appe ars to be more interested in the sound and innovation of the machine rather of Willy, who i s fighting for his task. Howard no longer require s Willy’s services and without concern fires him. This, to Willy, resembled, “eating the orange and getting rid of the peel”. Nevertheless, Willy is partially to blame, as he does decline change and wants to stay in the pas t. This is foreshadowed in the scene where Willy is left alone with the tape recorder and is unable to shut it off.
Willy thinks in using his old techniques and style to succeed. Nevertheless, in his task, it is not what you know, but it is who you understand. Willy is not up to date with the business nor technology. Yet, Willy still has hope, and wishes to leave some fo rm of assistance behind for his household as shown in his planting of the seeds. Willy feels that he needs to leave something behind something for Biff. In Willy’s fictional world he desires Biff to be magnificent and he symbolically plants seeds in his garden. In spite of such an action he is doomed to fail.
Willy sta rts planting the seeds in the evening, however during the night there is no sun shining and this seems very od d as seeds need light to grow. What else is unusual is the truth that Willy’s home is boxed in between large apartment buildings and is covered by the shadows cast by them. It appears that no light will fall on Willy’s garden. Willy’s effort to plant and grow seeds is useless, however he persist in his attempt to look for reconciliation and forgiveness. Therefore the hose pipe, tape record er and the seeds are all symbolic of Willy’s dreams gone sour, and his inability to reside in today. His death is unavoidable and is mirrored by his life.