Theme Of Requiem In Death Of A Salesman

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In Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, he ends with a requiem. A requiem is “the Mass celebrated for the repose of the souls of the dead” (Requiem). This requiem serves as a tribute to Willy Loman. In his life, Willy Loman was a salesman that was supposedly very well liked and had many friends. However, the only people that show up to his funeral are his wife, Linda Loman, his boys, Happy and Biff Loman, and his good friend Charley. Arthur Miller concluded this play with the requiem to solidify the ending, to show Willy’s true nature, and to show each character 's thoughts and feeling about Willy. In the last scene of the previous act, readers are given the stage directions that Willy had gotten into the car which then “speeds off, …show more content…
In the requiem however, readers are shown what is most likely their true thoughts and feelings. The requiem begins with Charley and Biff trying to get the grieving Linda to leave the graveyard. Linda is upset and confused about Willy’s actions. She explains how they were finally free because she had just made the last payment on their house. Linda then goes on to give her final goodbyes. She apologizes for being unable to cry, and at the end of her speech she exclaims through sobs “We’re free... We’re free…” (Salesman Requiem). This shows her love for her late husband, but it also shows how she may have felt suffocated and ruled by Willy. The freedom she is speaking of may be her own. She would now be free to live without worrying about angering Willy or stepping out of line. The next person to express feelings on Willy’s death is Happy. Happy starts out angry that his father left them in such a way, claiming “he had no right to do that. There was no necessity for it. We would’ve helped him,” (Salesman Requiem). After his initial bout of anger however, Happy begins to jump to his father’s defense when Biff starts to make negative comments. Happy also decides to stay in the city instead of going with his brother so that he can prove to people that Willy was a good man and he did not die in vain. This is practically how Happy behaved throughout the play in respect to Willy. Happy always seeme to be looking for his dad’s approval, he even dedicated his life to being like his dad. While Happy was very intent on following exactly in Willy’s footsteps, Biff acts as he has before the funeral, rather uninterested in sales. Biff reminisces on good days with his dad, but he also puts Willy down. Biff states that “[Willy] had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong,” (Salesman Requiem). Through the requiem we can see that, while he obviously cares for his father, Biff still sees Willy as a

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