Modern Paranoia In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

Great Essays
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 …show more content…
The overall play provides a narrative that flows and reads nicely. Seemingly, plays would appear to contain many hidden meanings that require an effort from the observer or reader to flesh out. Unlike these plays, Miller’s work allows even the basic readers to understand the narrative of Willy Loman. Even with the troubles that can be caused with the time of narratives, Miller’s argument can be easily understood. As shown, the academic and popular media response to Death of a Salesman further demonstrates how much a success Miller’s work was. Overall, this work is superb, and should be read by anyone interested in manhood in the …show more content…
As we discussed in class, the new father becomes more of a friend than a patriarch. He takes time to listen to his children, but still maintains some hierarchical power. Willy Loman is a new father. For example, the scene when Biff and Happy were younger shows Willy possesses great interest in his son’s lives, especially Biff’s. More specifically in this scene, Biff steals a football from school. In response, Willy congratulates Biff’s initiative to practice and states the coach would be impressed as well. Willy’s wife, Linda, attests to this and demands Biff return the ball. In this situation, Willy appears as the cool parent and Linda the mean one. In essence, this is what the new father did.
In class, we did not really discuss the hardships that new fathers face and Death of a Salesman speaks to these hardships. In Willy’s case, he becomes placed on a high moral pedestal by his sons. This leaves little room for Willy to fail. When Biff walks in our Willy cheating on Linda, Biff’s live crumbles and is the reason he does not have the drive to be like his father. Therefore, part of Willy’s loss in identity is due in part because of the way he failed to keep the high standard for his

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