The Importance of the Requiem in Death of a Salesman Essay

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The Importance of the Requiem in Death of a Salesman


In the play, Death of a Salesman, the final chapter is titled "Requiem" instead of "Epilogue". The definition of Requiem in' The concise Oxford dictionary' is a special Mass for repose of souls of the dead'. The Requiem serves as a tribute to Willy Loman. Sympathy is evoked and reasons for his behavior are given. Charley gives the central speech-' Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman has got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.' Any blame or anger at Willy is counteracted. It echoes Linda earlier in the play' But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.' It is made absolutely certain that Willy is sympathized with
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The Requiem is an assertion of a vaguely happy ending, with hope in the form of Biff. With the Requiem we know that Willy's suicide just convinced Biff further of the danger of the American dream.

Another point that is underlined in the Requiem is the unsuitability of his dreams. Though in the play it is mentioned that Willy enjoyed using his hands, it is not fully recognized how much until the Requiem. Willy never seemed to be happy or inspired enough to be a truly successful salesman, but' he was a happy man with a batch of cement'. Happiness is essential to succeed as a salesman-' Riding on a smile and a shoeshine'. We wonder if Willy had chosen another path and not' had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong' whether the story would be a happier one. All the characters except, significantly, Happy recognize this. The Requiem emphasizes how Willy didn't really succeed on any level- socially, professionally or personally. The aspect of' success' is a central theme in the play. The notion of the American Dream's commercial success versus personal success and happiness crops up many times. Willy was not true to himself, and so was not successful. He was always in competition -' I'm always in a race with the junkyard!'' the man who creates personal interest is the man who gets ahead'. All the characters recognize Willy's love for DIY in the Requiem, its undisputed his dreams were the wrong ones. Apart from his enthusiasm for Biff, it is one of the few things…