The Power of Irony in "The Death of a Salesman" Essay

1778 Words Apr 18th, 2013 8 Pages
Renata Lemos
English 102
Professor: Jeff Ousborne

The Power of Irony on “The Death of a Salesman”

Authors use irony in literature in order to give double meanings and make it more interesting to the reader. In the play “ The Death of a Salesman” Arthur Miller uses irony as a strong writing technique in order to express the character's behavior. In “The Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller moments of situational and dramatic irony helps to illustrate the story's theme in which Willy is a man trying yo achieve the American dream, however he have created a world of illusion. Dramatic irony occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play. Willy thinks that
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Willy was illusive thinking that he was good enough to get a better a job, instead he end up looking as a failure himself. The irony lies in Willy's thoughts and perceptions of reality versus true reality. Willy lives constantly lying to himself with self talk and lying to others to cover his disappointments. Willy's notion of the “American Dream” and how he keeps saying affirming how successful he is. Willy longs to live his dream however, Willy is living an illusion. He is blaming everyone else for his failures, if not he would have witnessed the good things in his life.

At Willy's funeral when Linda says, “ Willy I made the last payment on the house today. Today, dear. And there'll be nobody home. We're free and clean.... We're free. We're free... We're free.” (1465). This quote helps to demonstrate the irony that now that he and Linda are free from their financial debt he is now no longer able to experience and enjoy that freedom with Linda. It is immensely tragic that at the time when Willy and Linda should be happy, Willy chooses to kill himself. Willy spent his entire life trying to be successful, but he always viewed himself as a failure. However, at the end of the play, they had all of their house payments paid off. He actually was successful and did not know it.After working for so many years in a job that he was never suited for, Willy has finally paid of his mortgage. The irony is that now that he and Linda