Character Analysis Of Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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Arthur Asher Miller (1915-2005), an acclaimed 20th century American play and screen writer, most famous for conflicting guilt and hope within characters in his plays. Miller, born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York City into a family of immigrants from Polish and Jewish descents, Miller had spent most of his youth surrounded by literature. With his mother, which whom he was very close to, being an educator and a novel enthusiast. After graduating high school Miller began working to save up and attend the University of Michigan. Once there, Miller majored in journalism and soon after wrote his first play ‘No Villain’. From there Miller received many awards and began to take interest into playwriting. Miller then switched his major and …show more content…
For example, the character Willy Loman, when he discusses his American dreams to his sons, Biff and Happy. In ‘Death of a Salesman’ while reassuring Happy, Biff and himself, Willy claims that he is going to be “Bigger than Uncle Charley! Because Uncle Charley is not-liked. He’s liked, but he’s not-well liked” (Miller 1277). Even though Uncle Charley is a successful businessman Willy is yet to believe that he can be even more successful than Uncle Charley based of the ‘minor flaw’ of Uncle Charley not being “well-liked”. Willy lacks sense of reality there because he doesn’t consider the fact that he is 63 years old and has yet to reach his big break unlike Uncle Charley. Willy reassures himself on his unsuccessful life by believing that he going to ‘bigger’ than Uncle Charley due to the irrelevant ‘flaw’ that Uncle Charley isn’t “well-liked”. In the literary criticism ‘Death of a Salesman’ Terry Nienhuis explains that the reason behind Willy calling out his brother Ben is because he has ‘…superficial values” (Nienhuis 1) and “…is obsessed not only with financial success, but also, more specifically, with appearances and impressions and with being considered important and “well-liked” by others” (Nienhuis 1). Willy lives by his own philosophy, thinking if someone doesn’t abide by it they’re only liked and not “well-liked”. Another indication of the theme in ‘Death of a Salesman’ …show more content…
For example, an indication of the theme through the language is when Willy explains to Linda why he can’t work in New York instead of New England. In ‘Death of a Salesman’ when explaining to Linda Willy says “They don’t need me in New York. I’m the New England man. I’m Vital in New England” (Act I. line 24). This quote shows Willy’s lack of awareness of reality because he believes that he is vital to the company, but in reality the company is vital to him and his reassurance of himself. The company doesn’t ‘need’ Willy in New England, but he’s merely the guy that goes on call when there’s no one else. Also ‘the women’ is there so that’s more of a reason for Willy to say he’s ‘vital’ in New England but in reality he simply just wants to be with her. Besides Willy’s entire life relies on his job because he’s the only source of income, so without out it Willy’s family would be financially corrupt. In the literary criticism “CRITICAL CONTEXTS: Arthur Miller 's Death of a Salesman: History of Criticism” Amy Sickels explains that “Loman is flawed in his skewed idea of what makes a person successful, but he refuses to give up that popular vision” (Sickels 81). Since Willy refuses to give up his ‘vision’ he lacks the sense of reality that he’s not ‘vital’ to the company. Another indication of the theme in ‘Death of a Salesman’ is when Ben assurers Willy that his

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