Reality And Fantasy In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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Death of a Salesman is a play written by Arthur Miller. In 1949, the play made its debut in New York City. To this day, it is considered a classic in American theatre. The play centers on the Loman family: Willy, Linda, Happy, and Biff. The primary focus is on Willie Loman and his quest for covetous success as a salesman in addition to his felt need to have successful sons. Susan Koprence compares the character Walter Mitty of James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to Willy Loman in Death a Salesman stating, “Feeling frustrated and diminished, both Mitty and Willy Loman escape into a world of illusion, engaging in vivid, obsessive daydreams.” (322). Moreover, within Death of a Salesman one sees Willy having daydreams or episodes. These episodes can be defined as Willy’s distortion between reality and fantasy. One could contend these episodes are voluntary while another could argue the episodes are involuntary. Although both arguments are relevant, it is apparent that the episodes are more voluntary opposed to involuntary.
The first instance one sees Willy lapsing into an episode is after he and his wife Linda have a conversation in the kitchen following his arrival home from a business trip. Upon talking with
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His mind is distorted between what is real and what is not. While the episodes he experiences may appear involuntary, one can assume Willy has these episodes voluntary. One may claim Willy embellishes episodes of his past to help remember key points in his life. The creative episodes may appear truthful, but are not always fact (Cardullo 593). He uses these episodes as a coping mechanism to deal with his unfortunate reality. The episodes portray a story of Willy’s dream of success, the American dream. According to Jonas Salk, “There is no such thing as failure, there’s just giving up too soon.” Individuals need to understand that Willy is not a failure; he meekly gave up too

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