Capitalist Society in The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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Capitalist Society in The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

"Death of a salesman" is a "tragedy of a common man". Throughout the
play the reader sees how Willy Loman struggles to achieve something,
which is beyond his capability. He has a dream, the American dream of
success and accomplishment. And yet, he is not able to ever thrive
because his idea of how to succeed is wrong. The times have changed,
the play is set in the period of an economic boom and increasing
desire for material goods in America and the Loman family is now
living in a capitalist society, however, Willy seems not to have
realised that things have changed. He is constantly battling between
the present and the past, the reality
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Howard
therefore simply sees the relationship as diplomatic and business like
and understands that Willy is not able "to pull his own weight"
anymore. Yet for Willy this is all about loyalty gratitude and
comradeship, because he "was in the firm when Howard's father used to
carry him in his arms". Willy perceives his relationship with his boss
as being far closer, than it really is. All Howard has to say to
Willy, however, is that "business is business". This a good example of
Willy's misunderstanding of the co-operative and benevolent nature of
capitalism and his inadequacy to put aside feelings and emotions,
which should not interfere with the business. Loman has been unable to
learn that business ethics, the morality of his work-community oppose
the traditions he assumed were still in action: the personal ethics of
honour.

Willy also has his own, distinct perception of success. For him it is
all about money and being "well-liked". That is how he saw Dave
Singleman and assumed this was a perfect ideal of success, which he,
himself, could achieve becoming a salesman. He imagines that pursuing
the same career in the same merchandise field, he will be just like
Dave Singleman: "Without ever leaving his room, at the age of
eighty-four, make his living". His dream was to prove himself within
the capitalist system, which requires a person…