Death Of A Salesman Materialism Analysis

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Often considered the best work of American theater to date, the tragedy Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller leaves room for much more than simply theatrical analysis. The play gives us one of the most unique glimpses into post-World War II America that is available to us today. Arthur Miller attaches the capitalistic ideals of America to his characters, thus accurately portraying the standard middle class family of the 1940s. The play’s tragic hero Willy Loman, a Jewish man, is a representation of the negative outcomes of capitalistic reliance. His tragic death stirred the minds of anti-communist Americans at the play’s release and continues to provide excellent historical outlooks to this day. In his claim to fame work Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller uses his tragic hero Willy Loman to display the effects of post-World War II ideals …show more content…
Instead of a country where individuals could be content in their work, America became a country full of people who could only find happiness through peer acceptance. This peer acceptance could only be achieved through the ownership of material goods and as a result of this, capitalistic success quickly became the only way to be viewed highly in society. Arthur Miller himself experienced this first hand while working at his father’s company at the age of 17 (Mason). Miller was inspired to write Death of a Salesman by an encounter he had with his uncle, Manny Newman, in 1947 and used this encounter as the inspiration for the character Willy Loman (Mason). Miller had a conflicted relationship with Newman, who insisted on creating the perfect capitalistic image for himself, and used that mindset to craft the tragic hero Willy Loman. In the play it becomes evident that even a man who seems relatively affluent, or who appears to be living his “American dream,” still feels insecurity and suffers from economic

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