A literary analysis of the play death of a salesman by arthur miller

The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life. The play concludes with Willy's suicide and subsequent funeral. Miller uses the Loman family — Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy — to construct a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder.

A literary analysis of the play death of a salesman by arthur miller

Arthur Miller is a distinctive dramatist in his own right, with extensive uses of dramatic elements in his plays, such as sound, particular attention to stage settings, and his dialogues. Critics have noted the impact of his relatively simple use of language for his dialogues, with no grandiose wordplay whatsoever- in its simplicity lies its beauty.

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Another aspect of his plays is the profound use of surreal elements, which form a beautiful symbiotic relationship with the realistic parts of the play, as if holding some semblance of delicate balance, on the verge of dangerously tipping.

There are quite a few analytical aspects to this piece of work, and the one this paper will explore, is the grand debate on its central character. Various critics have remarked on the fragile nature of Willy Loman primarily believed to be the protagonist of the play by many and given evidence and personal opinions as to why he may not be the central character after all.

Willy Loman is a salesman, a middle class salesman in the drama, and the play revolves around him as he tries to justify and make sense of his existence to the cruel and unappreciative society. He does that through various devices- mainly through his sons, and through the surreal appearance of Ben, his dead, successful the American dream definition of it brother.


Linda is another character which makes an impact in her own right- the quiet force, the glue that holds the family together, the wife of Willy Loman. Happy, the elder son is generally excluded from this debate as his character does not really influence any action- it is him, rather, who gets influenced by the judgments and whims of other characters.

This paper will attempt to deconstruct some of the aspects of these characters, and try and provide evidence for justifying who the central character is, and hopefully arrive at a concrete conclusion.

Firstly, the character of Willy Loman will be under scrutiny. Naturally, many have deviated from that character profile.

Death of a Salesman Analysis - Essay - pfmlures.com

Willy Loman is quite the sore thumb in this line of thought. His character thoroughly lacks all the hallmarks of any sort of elevated position.

But in this anomaly of his lies his greatness- his ambitions, his dreams. His inability to fulfill those dreams is sadly, his tragic flaw, and ultimately, his desire to manifest those dreams around him results in his downfall. By contrast, a protagonist who cannot be alone, who cannot summon the intelligence and strength to scrutinize his condition and come to some understanding of it-whatever agony it may cost him-seems disqualified for the tragic stature literature can bestow.

This is perhaps what makes Loman such a feasible protagonist, and such an appealing one as far as literary appreciation is concerned.

Loman is the force that moves the events in the play, the one that is responsible for its volatility. He drags the entire family into the quagmire of his decisions, and attempts to influence their lives to attain satisfaction, as he seems resigned to his fate.

His anger bursts, however, are shown to be quite hollow when he interacts with people outside the sphere of his house, displaying further disconnection to society. For by entering the dark, unknown "jungle" of death Loman might bring out tangible wealth, "like diamonds," thus becoming as much an adventurer as Ben but within the skyscraper world of New York.

He imagines himself then having a funeral as massive as Singleman's, one that would leave Biff "thunderstruck. Biff knows that all these momentary achievements are extremely fickle in nature, and wants his father to realize that.

The light of their room begins to fade. BIFF to himself in bed: Willy Loman does the same for his favorite son, often seen fondly speaking about him and praising him for the smallest things.Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man's inability to accept change within himself and society.

The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life. A summary of Symbols in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Death of a Salesman and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

A literary analysis of the play death of a salesman by arthur miller

Death of a Salesman and Death of a Salesman: The Swollen Legacy of Arthur Miller Bert Cardullo Introduction: Death in Two Senses The immense international success of Death of a Salesman comes from the intellectual force of the play’s central idea prevailing over the glaring defects of Arthur Miller.

Literary Devices in Death of a Salesman Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory Death of a Salesman takes place primarily within the confined landscape of the Lomans’ home. An Analysis of Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' and William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' Words | 8 Pages.

A literary analysis of the play death of a salesman by arthur miller

can. In the play Death of a Salesman, main character Willy Loman is a man past his prime. CRITICAL ANALYSIS-DEATH OF A SALESMAN -ARTHUR MILLER Arthur Miller (Oct Feb ) was, in all probability, one of the greatest playwrights of contemporary history He is also one of the greatest critics of contemporary American society, as his works often tend to portray American middlemen as heroes, bitterly and futilely fighting against the entire system of what “Americanism” is, .

Death of a Salesman Themes - pfmlures.com