The Theme Of Death In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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Death is often seen as a scary and dreadful reality that everybody must face. Suicide is perceived as selfish and cold-hearted by many. What about somebody who commits suicide for the greater good? This harsh actuality is depicted in the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller. Miller overcame loss and devastation and created a heartfelt collection of literature that became iconic. “Death of a Salesman” unveils the unfortunate reality that many households experience of chaos disrupting harmony and the disappointment that follows unrealistic, preplaced standards. Willy and Linda are the parents of two boys, Happy and Biff. In Willy’s eyes, his boys have not amounted to anything because they have not followed in his footsteps of becoming…show more content…
Even though he was not successful, he wants to “plant seeds” in an attempt to motivate his children to follow his footsteps, but go further than he did and be truly successful. Eric Sterling, in an analysis of the play states that “Although at times some individuals wish it were not so, the phrase “Like father, like son” also is truly apropos as the young tend to take their cues from their first role models, their parents.” Biff does not really want to follow in his father’s steps after knowing that he cheated on Linda, but he still takes after his father in multiple ways. Willy seems to regret not “planting seeds” sooner and since he regrets this, it seems that he cannot see the value in what he has provided for his sons as well as what his sons have accomplished.
Regret can eat away at a person, as well as their character. One of Willy’s biggest regrets is cheating on Linda and letting his family down in the process. This is symbolized by stockings because Willy gave his mistress stockings and then proceeds to shout at his wife for fixing her stockings in his presence. The stockings also symbolize Biff’s frustration with his father because he knew about the affair and they were a painful reminder of his father’s infidelity. Willy regrets cheating on his wife, he feels like he failed his family and fails to recognize how much he has supported and promoted the prosperity of his family.
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