The Multifaceted Themes and Symbols in Miller's Play, Death of a Salesman

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Arthur Miller, the author of the play Death of a Salesman, proposes the idea that even an ordinary person can have major tragedies happen to him or her. When something bad happened to the individuals, who were mostly royalty, as portrayed in the great Greek and great Shakespearean tragedies, it affected the whole country. The ordinary person with a commonplace background, however, playing the major role in a tragedy, is a reformation of the older masterpiece, now tuned for modern readers and viewers. The title, which is a clever way to introduce this modern tragedy, gives away that it is not going to be a happy play. Similar to its precursors, the play conveys key morals, such as the evil of lying, the requisite of facing reality, the …show more content…
It is a technique he uses all of his life. He still believes that his sons will “make it big”, when on the contrary, he did not even teach them the basics of honesty and fairness. Willy’s affair shows his unfaithfulness, which is also an inability to focus on accomplishing at least one thing effectively. He avoids reality and becomes the victim of his own weaknesses, as a result, committing suicide. His death marks the end of his lifelong failures, but does not result in the respect he anticipated from Biff, does not show that he had many friends, and does not help his family in their financial struggles.
Willy’s two sons, Biff and Happy are very miserable human beings. Biff is the high school football star, but turns out to be a liar and a thief. Willy’s wife describes Happy as a philandering bum, which is a derogatory phrase that means, one who sleeps with many women. The word “lost” effectively describes Biff, because he cannot even acceptably hold a position in a job. He tells his family that he did not write them, because he was in jail. His financial standing is terrible, because he has “lied and stolen himself out of every job [he’s] ever had.” Neither Biff nor Happy are a good outcome, contrary to what Willy expects. I do not like Biff because he is irresponsible, and fails to live at a high point beyond high school. He does not strive to do well in his classes while he is in high school, which is a quality I despise. Happy is not
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