Death Of Salesman, Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is a tragic tale of illusion versus reality. The play follows the life of Willy Loman, a salesman who is struggling to make ends meet. As his life begins to unravel, Willy begins to lose touch with reality and starts to believe in an illusory world where he is successful and well-liked. This eventually leads to his downfall.
While Death Of Salesman is certainly a tragedy, it also provides a powerful commentary on the American dream. The play shows that chasing after an unattainable goal can lead to disastrous consequences. It is a cautionary tale that resonates even today.
The major topic in Death of a Salesman is the contrast between reality and illusion. Willy has always lived in a world of appearances. Willy’s thinking that being well-liked is necessary to success, as well as the literal illusions he holds of his past, are examples of these delusions. Biff initially shared Willy’s grandiose ideas about himself and his talents, but by the conclusion of the play, he has lost all faith in him. “I’m only a dime a dozen,” Biff tells Willy when he realizes his place on earth.
By the end of Death of a Salesman, it is clear that Willy’s life has been nothing more than an illusion. He has deluded himself into believing that he was a successful salesman and that his family was happy and thriving. In reality, Willy was a mediocre salesman who was never able to achieve the level of success that he desired. Additionally, his family was anything but happy – his wife Linda was constantly worried about money, and his sons Biff and Happy were barely getting by.
While Willy’s illusions eventually led to his downfall, it is important to note that they also brought him some happiness during his life. For a time, at least, Willy was able to believe in a version of reality that made him happy. In the end, however, it is clear that reality is much different – and much harsher – than Willy’s illusions.
Willy, on the other hand, has been dreaming for too long and is unable to comprehend what Biff is attempting to say. Willy would then be compelled to examine his affair in Boston, his ideas, and all of his illusions if he had to face reality. Instead, he wishes to remain in the past. And now Biff (who is trying to find out who he really is), finds that he’s completely communication with his father is impossible. The old aristocracy and pride in agriculture vs the new industrialisation are two themes present in Death of a Salesman.
He complains about the new highway (“they’re making me crazy”), and he says that he does not like New York City because it is “all concrete.” However, by the end of the play, Willy has become a victim of industrialization. He has lost his job, and his only hope is to go on the road and sell seeds door-to-door. This symbolizes the death of the old order, which is replaced by a new order that is harsh, impersonal, and unforgiving.
The Death of a Salesman also contains many elements of tragedy. Willy Loman is a tragic figure because he is a man who has devoted his life to the pursuit of an impossible dream. The American dream that Willy pursues is based on the false premise that material success will lead to happiness. Willy’s failure to achieve his dream leads to his downfall, and ultimately to his death. Death of a Salesman is thus a tragedy not only because it tells the story of a man’s downfall, but also because it suggests that the American dream itself is an illusion.
“There are numerous automobiles on the street. There isn’t a breath of fresh air in the neighborhood.” Willy’s downfall is caused by this contradiction between old and new orders. Willy’s father, a pioneer inventor, personifies traditional values and way of life. So does Dave Singleman, the eigthy-four-year-old salesperson who inspired Willy to pursue a career in selling. Howard, the youthful boss of Willy’s firm, typifies capitalistic business’ impersonal and aggressive nature.
Linda, Willy’s wife, attempts to hold the family together and keep Willy from falling apart. Biff, their eldest son, is a talented athlete who failed in business because he could not apply himself. Happy, the younger son, is a womanizer like his father who has found success in sales by selling himself. Death of a Salesman is not only a tragedy of one man’s fall from grace, but also a commentary on the American Dream and its effects on society.
The playwright Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915. His father was a successful businessman and his mother was a schoolteacher. Miller was educated at the University of Michigan where he majored in English. After graduation, he worked as a reporter for a short time before moving to New York City to pursue a career in writing. Death of a Salesman was his first successful play. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 and is considered to be one of the greatest American plays of all time.
Willy Lowman’s main problem in Death of a Salesman is his lack of understanding and annoyance. Willy’s inability to face the harsh realities of today’s society leads to these emotions. Willy has an unhealthy dependence on being well-liked and attractive, which is one of his most prominent delusions. This belief guides Willy’s entire existence, as he teaches it to his children.
However, the reality is that success comes from having skills and being able to work hard. Willy is unable to accept this and as a result, he lives in a world of illusions. These feelings of inadequacy eventually lead to Willy’s downfall as he is fired from his job and has a nervous breakdown. He becomes even more delusional, thinking that he can become rich by planting some seeds in his backyard. This is the final straw for his family and they can no longer deal with his delusions. In the end, Willy Lowman is a man who lives in an illusionary world and pays the ultimate price for it.