Death of a Traveling Salesman Essay

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Death of a Traveling Salesman

In the short story, “Death Of A Traveling Salesman,” R. J. Bowman is a successful salesman with the intention to get home after being sick and in the hospital. He faces many obstacles along the way. Even though R. J. Bowman knows that there is something missing in his life he has no desire to try and bring it into his life. He realizes he is only a salesman and that is all he will ever be. There are symbols in the story that show a shadow over Bowman’s life. Darkness is the most significant that occurs throughout the story, and light is also a significant part of the story. Mr. Bowman likes to cover up his true feelings by ignoring them or literally covering them up. Through the symbolism of
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The lamp is a symbol that there is a part of his life that is voided out and not thought about often, or not at all. He is a one-minded person; he has his mind on being a great businessman and selling shoes. The “half clean” part of the lamp resembles one half of his life; the half of his life that is bright and headed on the right path, for example, him being a successful salesman is the clean part of the lamp. It is his lighted part of his life because he is successful. The “blackened” part of his life is the empty part of his life, which could in turn be the lack of being loved or the ability to love someone or something else besides selling shoes. He goes into the house and sits while the woman tells him that her husband, Sonny, will be home to get his car out. While walking in the house “…the darkness of the house touched him...” (210), meaning that the darkness of the house had a presence of emptiness, which was a resemblance of his life. He had no idea why the house touched him, he could only wonder. “The woman set the half cleaned lamp on a table in the center of the room…” (210), which resembles his life that revolves around this dark cloud over his life, where something is missing, something that he has never experienced before. The clean part of the lamp resembles the happy part of his life, like his shoe selling business and being a successful salesman. Being a

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