Capitalism In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

1760 Words 8 Pages
Many Americans despised Karl Marx as soon as his political theory gained international attention. However, some did support Marx’s theory, even while it was considered radical. Those defined as some include world-renowned playwright, Arthur Miller. In his famous play, Death of a Salesman, the main character, Willy Loman, and his family fail to achieve the American dream. In Miller’s opinion, the Loman family’s vision of the American dream is unrealistic in a Capitalist society, but their vision is much more likely to come true in a Marxist society. Arthur Miller displays his support of Marxism in Death of a Salesman by showing how Capitalism fails due to economic imbalance. In the play, the setting presents immense towers which represent …show more content…
Even the best of relationships don’t soften the hearts of the upper class. Miller is seen making this claim when he writes, “WILLY: Your father came to me the day you [Willy’s boss] were born and asked me what I thought of the name of Howard, may he rest in peace” (2.245-247). Willy was in a great relationship with his boss’s father and contributed to the naming of Howard, his current boss. However, this doesn’t affect Howard’s opinion of Willy and Willy is fired due to a lack of production. Miller attempts to show his audience that the upper class is rude, robotic, and unsympathetic. The claim that relationships don’t matter in Capitalism is supported by Helge Nilsen when he writes, “Willy has been with the firm since before Howard was born, but the almost familial relationships between these two still counts for nothing” (154). Another example of their almost “familial” relationship not mattering to Howard is when Willy states to Howard that he was promised a more local job and Howard gives a lackluster response by saying, “Oh, yeah, yeah. I remember. Well, I couldn’t think of anything for you, Willy” (Miller 2.230-231). It is clear from Howard’s tone that he didn’t put much thought into finding a local task for Willy to complete. Overall, this is an example of how the upper class doesn’t respect the lower class in a Capitalist …show more content…
Willy is frustrated because of the people who surround him, such as Biff, Howard, Ben, and Charley. Biff frustrates Willy because Willy believes that Biff is the next great businessman, even though Biff is a bum. Willy is frustrated by Howard because Howard doesn’t show him the respect his father did and Howard doesn’t care about their prior relationships. Willy is frustrated with Ben and Charley because both either were close to him or are close to him, but their success generates jealousy and frustration. Willy, being surrounded with powerful, successful characters, feels oppression caused by his failures. Willy must overcome his oppression and he does so through his suicidal car ride after a fiery argument with Biff. The setting provides details that the lower class is powerless by burying the small Loman house inside a jungle of towers which also adds to Willy’s frustration. Miller despises the fact that Willy has no chance at success and shows how it is all because of economic imbalance. Miller offers Marxism as a resolution by using issues that a Marxist always thinks about, such as wealth distribution. The issue of wealth distribution is still discussed in today’s society, specifically amongst Liberals with opinions not far from those of Marxists. Many of these Liberals are in

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