Fallacies and Distortions in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

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A logical fallacy can be defined as a “flawed argument” (Kirszner and Mandell 84). It can be considered, “ a writer who inadvertently uses logical fallacies is not thinking clearly or logically…” (Kirszner and Mandell 84). In the play, Death of a Salesman, there is an assortment of situations exemplifying different kinds of logical fallacies. Cognitive distortions are also present in this play. Some of the characters in Death of a Salesman have thoughts that seem to be slightly unclear. These distortions sometimes result when people “…think in extremes…” (“Cognitive Distortions”).

In the year 1949, Arthur Miller created the play, Death of a Salesman. This is the play that made him most famous (Gioia and
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He is considered “By far the most important character in Death of a Salesman…” (Brockett 98). He is a sixty-three year old man who can be described as “An untalented but energetic man gripped by the American dream…” (“Bloom’s Notes” 23). The play is about his last two days before he commits suicide. “The play dramatizes the late-life madness and suicide of Willy Loman, an undistinguished traveling salesman who lives in a small house in Brooklyn with his wife” (“Bloom’s Notes” 11). Throughout the play, Willy Loman often daydreams about the past. “…Willy’s psychological state dictated the structure of the play” (Brockett 97). As the play goes on and Willy is drifting in and out of consciousness, he is trying to answer questions he has asked himself. Some of these questions might have been, “Why have I failed? Where did I go wrong? What is the secret to success?” (Brocket 97-98). As he falls into a deeper depression, he eventually by the end of the play commits suicide. It has been said, “Death of a Salesman explores Willy Loman’s obsessive desire to succeed” (Brockett 96). This obsession to succeed led to an internal struggle with his emotions. This is evident when Willy often drifts to thoughts of the past. His emotional toll finally led him to commit suicide.

There are several other characters that the audience meets in this play, including Willy’s wife, Linda. “She is a voice of wisdom and compassion in the play” (“Bloom’s Notes” 23). It is clear that Linda has a

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