Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Good Essays
In the play, Death of A Salesman, Arthur Miller depicts the dissolution of the American family, as well as the decline of the prosperous lifestyles that defined past generations, illustrating the theme of American decadence. From page one, the idea is set in motion by Miller that “the mighty have fallen”; that society clearly is no longer a place of opportunity. In this play, Miller puts forward the idea that opportunities of past generations in areas such as education and vocation are now nonexistent. A new society is being defined by Miller and his play illustrates a complete rework of contemporary America. However, Miller is not just able to define a new society on his own. As with other Arthur Miller plays, the characters presented in…show more content…
He had an opportunity for schooling” (93). As shown, the characters in this play either avoided schooling, or they did not have any interest, a specific contrast with ideas of the past, further establishing Miller’s theme of decadence in America. Additionally, another part of Miller’s plan to establish his theme of decadence in education is through Biff’s vocalizations. As with Willy, the character Biff is parallel to a concept in this play. However, Biff in this play is the opposite of his father Willy. In this play, Biff represents the malignity of Miller’s American society. For example, on the issue of education, Biff is very vocal and speaks on the lack of importance of education “the class came right before practice, see, and I didn’t go” (118). This vocalization once again pushes the idea home that America has wound up in a period of decadence. Finally, the last way Miller promotes his dissipation of America is through the issue of individuality. During America’s so-called glory days, one of the greatest defining traits of society was the feeling of individuality. Many articles during the early 20th Century focused on the idea that in our culture, anybody could make a name for their self and become a true individual among the crowd. However, while this sense of individuality was important at the time, it clearly did not
Get Access