Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller Essay

1595 Words Mar 18th, 2016 7 Pages
Arthur Miller’s playwright, Death of a Salesman, reveals many of the insecurities and fears of the 20th century American self-made man. Miller expresses this modern paranoia through the fictional life of Willy Loman. As an elderly salesman, Willy’s career as an on-the-road salesman appears to be coming to a close. Willy hopes for stability in his later life through his past success and through his sons, Biff and Happy. The high standards that he raised himself and his sons on embodies his hopes of future stability. However, the loss of his job and the continuing lack of success in his son Biff threaten Willy’s hopes. In using Willy’s case of fear, Miller argues that the high standards of the American self-made man directly destroys the self-made man personal identity and, in turn, ruins the self-made man’s sense of manhood.
Very early on, Miller shows how Willy used to view himself and his sons to the highest standard. Miller sets a scene where Willy and his sons are thirty years younger. Willy’s hopes see almost astronomical. In this moment, Willy teaches his children a seemingly valuable lesson in being liked. He states, “be liked and you will never want. Take me for instance.” Biff then asks in an almost cliché manner, “did you knock them dead, Pop?” Willy responses, “knocked ‘em cold in Providence, slaughtered em’ in Boston.” This scene shows how Willy views himself in the upmost highest standard for self-made men: being well known and well liked. Furthermore, Willy…

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