A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman Essay

3503 Words 15 Pages
A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman can be seen as an eulogy of a

dreamer, which depicts one man's tragic life and death as he tries to bring

his family into grace. Miller does, however, also uses this play to

express underlying themes and ideas. Reading Death of a Salesman from the

starting point of a Marxist results in the perception that miller uses his

play as a means to demonstrate the effects of a changing capitalist society.

On the other hand, a psychological reading of Death of a Salesman allows

the play to be seen as one mans flight from shame and his own weakened self

image. The Marxist perspective is a viable reading of this
…show more content…
And when this man died at the age

of eighty-four people came from all over to attend his funeral. This is

the type of man Willy aspires to become and this is why he chose sales as

his occupation. Ben, Willy's older brother, is another symbol of the

ruthless success Willy tries to reach in his life. "There was the only

man I ever met " Willy says, "Who knew all the answers"(Meyer 1734). Willy

has treasured up the memory of Ben until it is more real to him than any of

the people in his life. The character of Ben materializes again and again

in the play as Willy savors his favorite brag: "When I was seven-teen I

walked into the jungle and when I was twenty-one I walked out. and by God

I was rich"(Meyer 1732).

The statement ,"Rich", echoes throughout the play as Willy is

railroaded by a capitalist system as he strives to reach his dreams. Willy

Loman desperately want to believe that he has succeeded, that he is "well

liked"and a great salesman. But at the age of sixty- three and nearing

retirement, Willy is seen as a man who gave all of his life to a business,

only to be thrown in the scrap-heap and as a house holder whose pattern of

life was interwoven with installment plans with which he could hardly catch


In another time, Willy Loman might have been a happy carpenter. He

can put up a ceiling which

More about A Psychological Reading of Death of A Salesman Essay

Open Document