Comparison Contrast of Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Ross

906 Words Apr 5th, 2013 4 Pages
Sasha Schmidt
Midterm Essay Question 4
Jeannine Russell
10/28/12
The True Criminal
Being a salesman has always carried a negative stigma since the early 1900s. Being seen as pushy, high pressure, deceitful people; the dreaded activity of purchasing some car or new appliance has haunted everyone at some point or another. Many words have come to describe salesman such as “sharks”, “cons”, “thieves” etc., and these words have stuck with the profession throughout the century. Two very realistic depictions of such phonies can be seen in Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller and Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet. They depict the styles of two salesmen who have very similar selling techniques, but at the same time can be contrastingly
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Much to his chagrin is the new reality he is facing, where “it’s all cut and dried, and there’s no chance for bringing friendship to bear”(Miller 1089). In contrast, Levene takes on the role of “cut and dried” sales techniques, often using his other associates as pretend clients in order to just make the sell, whether or not he’s tricking extorting money out of his clients. Right from the beginning, he is trying to con “leads” out of Williamson, his supervisor. “… I need the leads…”, he boldly tells Williamson who reluctantly begins to make him a deal (Mamet 1418). Right from the get go, Leven is already using the manipulation techniques he uses day in and day out on his co-workers even. Loman pushes his honest, integrity, and personality traits as the key to selling success, though we see an obvious decline in his selling abilities compared to the others. That being said, both characters are still very flawed with illusions of owning their own companies and waiting for the right client to come along. They both still have some nasty personality traits and are still putting on a façade to trick people; however, Willy Loman is tricking his family while Shelly Levene is tricking his consumers. Hard selling is a selling technique in which the salesman manipulates the psychological state of the consumer in order to achieve a sale, whether or not the sale is good (Baron & Branscombe). There is little concern for the consumer at all, in fact, often
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