Death Of a Salesman by Arthur Miller  - Essays & Example of book reports analyzing Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
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Arthur MIller
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Essays on the play DEATH OF A SALESMAN by ARTHUR MILLER

 

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   Arthur Millerís Death of a Salesman is a tragedy whose theme is the tarnishing of the American Dream. We, as Americans, have been conditioned to believe that beauty and charisma constitute necessary virtues rather than mere traits, and that appearances guarantee success. But most of us will go through our lives being "ordinary" -- and thatís perfectly okay according to most views.

   It is not okay, however, for Willy Loman, the aging salesman who is the protagonist of Millerís play. Although Willy is the hero of this tragedy, he fails to be 'heroic' in the conventional sense: that is, he does not save damsels in distress or rescue small children from burning buildings. He isnít even particularly admirable, except in his tenacious adherence to his cockeyed ideals. For Willy Loman, morality is not important; material success is -- personal attractiveness is, and chutzpah equally so.

     Through a combination of various literary elements, Arthur Miller is able to powerfully show the dissolution of a man whose values have been shown to be futile and whose dreams have turned to dust. Biff asserts that he and his father are "a dime a dozen", but this Willy cannot accept. Through this depiction of an ordinary American family, Arthur Miller has given voice to all those trapped in the same cycle as Willy Loman....

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