Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

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“The present and the past coexist, but the past shouldn't be in flashback” -Alain Resnais. The play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller follows the life of a man named Willy Loman, and his family life with his two sons; Biff and Happy Loman, and wife, Linda Loman. Throughout the play, Willy has delusional episodes of past events in life, which he believes he is reliving, and these flashbacks are providing him an escape from dealing with the obstacles he is facing in life. The reader discovers that Willy is having an affair with a mistress titled The Woman, and he retreats to memories of their time together for an ego boost, though in reality he is arguing with his sons. Willy has an encounter with his brother Ben at the same time that he is playing cards with his neighbour Charlie, and because Willy’s mind is so far gone into the memory, Charlie leaves. During this flashback Willy sees his life compared to his successful brother, but he will not accept his lack of skill at being a salesman. His final flashback is a fake encounter he believes he has with his brother, and this progresses to Willy’s final act of suicide. Willy’s flashbacks are evidence that he is delusional because he cannot differentiate between a past event and reality.
In the restaurant, Willy, Biff and Happy are discussing Biff’s encounter with Bill Oliver, the man Biff goes to see about getting money to start his sporting goods business. During the conversation, Willy begins being drawn into a…