Family Loyalty In Death Of A Salesman Essay

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The lives of all human beings are deeply imbedded in the structure of their own families. For some critics family is a critical subject in the dynamics of modern social structure. The fundamental of any culture is to have domestic harmony in family, and the failure of this ideal has preoccupied many serious dramatists of different era. American dramatists in last many years had been preoccupied with the conflicting images of family life which they have expressed through variety of forms. In play after play, they have explored that how the American myth of family harmony has been strained by the contradiction inherent in their culture. It is the basis of freedom against security, community against selfhood. Arthur Miller has varied this portrayal …show more content…
Advertising, mass production values, worship of gadgetry, narrow love of family and mystical faith in commercial success; Willy being a salesman must represent these values to the consumers. The most powerful value that the play offers is the value of family loyalty. There is no doubt of Willy's love for his family, particularly for his son, Biff. It is the betrayal of this loyalty which ruins Willy's life, rather than a commercial failure, and it is in the name of family love that he finally kills himself, dying "as a father, not as a salesman". His insecurity and role of a father is evident in the memory scene, where he confesses to Ben that he feels “Kind of temporary” (DSM 191) about himself and seeks his brother’s assurance, that he is doing a good job of bringing up his …show more content…
In all of Miller’s works the relationship between father and son is a crucial one because it focuses on inherited values and assumption, so is in Death of a salesman. Willy searches for a father’s approval throughout his life. The life of his father is his fantasy,that he wants to attain. Similarly Willy’s sons are trapped by their father’s fantasy, which is more hollow for them. It shows that culture of commercial and industrial civilisation, commanded by capitalist economy, plays havoc with the warmth of human relations in family and society. Linda’s remarks are revealing when she says, “It sounds so old-fashioned and silly, but I tell you he put his whole life into you and you’ve turned your backs on him” (Miller, Collected Plays 165). Linda reminds her sons of the pains their father underwent for the benefit of his sons. Instead of showing sympathy and understanding, the sons resort to fault finding mission and Biff in particular is a bitter critic of his father. Sons’ attitude reveals the uncaring and unsympathetic behaviour of the sons in a capitalist society, who simply criticise and find fault in the character of their parents and do not pay heed and regard to the other side of the parents. Sons simply embark on fault finding mission in the character of their father. Linda rightly takes her sons to task when she says, “And you tell me he has no

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