Arthur Miller 's Death Of A Salesman

1326 Words6 Pages
As though to recreate the connection in life, literature often shows the relationship between past events and a character’s present actions and values. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy is haunted by memories of his older brother, father, and salesman Dave Singleman. Willy’s character and values are constantly influenced by the memory of the three men, compounding upon his deliria throughout the play. Willy considers these men the epitome of success, thus explaining his dependency on all three. Miller’s view on society, men, and the success of the American Dream are portrayed through Willy’s interactions with the men. The American Dream is synonymous with the phrase “the world is your oyster,” but Miller uses Death of a Salesman to criticize the American Dream through Willy Loman and his interplay between the past and present. To begin with, Loman experiences two particular memories of his brother Ben that affect his present. In both moments, Ben is depicted as a successful man. Ben tells Willy’s boys that, “when I was seventeen I walked into jungle and when I was twenty-one I walked out. and by God I was rich!” It is evident that Willy admires and envies his brother’s prosperity and wealth. In Willy’s mind, he is defined by how much money he makes and how capable he is of providing for his family. The memory of his brother going to Africa leaves Willy feeling ashamed, regretful, and inadequate because of his brother’s subsequent financial success. His
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