Materialism In Death Of A Salesman

1244 Words 5 Pages
The story of Arthur Miller’s, Death of a Salesman, is a about a man named Willy Loman who has dedicated his life to chasing the ‘American Dream’. To Willy the American Dream is equivalent to capitalist ideals. He is consumed by the capitalist ideals of money and social status. Willy’s obsession with the ideals of capitalism reveals the negative aspects that come with them and we see that through social and cultural phenomenons whether it be materialism, consumerism, or alienation.
Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. The U.S. is a capitalistic system. Private investment and business is encouraged in capitalism whereas a
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His society is just as materialistic as he is. Even modern U.S society today is similar to what Willy’s society was like. People are obsessed with wanting expensive products such as cars and jewelry. Some people even dedicate their paycheck towards getting that extravagant Lamborghini or Rolex. Society is so blinded by the result of getting expensive things that they do not realize that they do not need those expensive things. They are obsessed with seeing people look at them with envy wishing they could be them. These superficial needs of materialistic things is what Miller criticizes in Death of a Salesman.
Another way that Miller presents the modern theme of materialism is through symbolism. He shows symbolism through the products Willy wishes to have. There are many products that Willy wishes to have and those same products are what help lead him to his demise of insanity and death. Miller uses the refrigerator to represent Willy’s constant failures that he causes solely by his own ignorance and obsession. The fridge is never fully able to function properly. Just like the refrigerator, Willy is barely able to live and is desperately clinging onto life by just pretending everything’s
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Miller criticizes consumerism to show that in the society Willy lives in, it is okay and sometimes admirable for people to work not to survive but to work to make the most amount of money as possible so that you can show people you are wealthy, successful, and to show your social status, preferably to show that you are in the upper class. Modern society is not too different and some people still do work in hopes of gaining an enormous amount of wealth instead of working just to live and survive

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