Essay Examples on Death of a Salesman

Book Review of Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman is a tragicomedy centered on the events that take place at the end of Willy Loman's life. From the opening act, we learn that Willy and his family struggle to behave as a united front when they face financial pressures and strained familial bonds. This causes Willy to become desperate for success and validation. Death of a Salesman has commonly been interpreted as an analysis of the American dream. Within the ideal American society, citizens believe that the American dream allows each individual an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work determination and initiative. According to Willy Loman, the American dream is correlated to someone's likeability as opposed to someone's work ethic. The term American dream has become a phrase that is now attached to the play such that readers interpret it as Miller's only impactful theme. In fact, by saying that the play is solely explained by the American dream we create a blanket that covers up all of the other more concrete and narrowly focused themes within the story. This is not to say that the American dream is not somehow found within the play it's to say that there are more definite and fundamental aspects present within the story. At the core of Death of a Salesman, we see the themes of celebrity abandonment and altered reality arise all of which are more prominent and explanatory themes of the play as opposed to it being solely about the American dream.

2 pages | 500 words