Book Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 30, 2023
Cite this
Category:Arthur Miller
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

“It’s just like losing a family member, a very difficult time for the character Willy, who is in a society that is indifferent, sometimes brutal, and a force that crushes an individual. In the book “Death of a Salesman,” Arthur Miller describes how Willy has evaded difficult situations using symbolism, flashbacks, and contradictions.

In “Death of a Salesman,” the author demonstrates various symbols in the story allowing Willy to escape from tough situations. One example of a symbol is the sound of music playing on a flute at the beginning and end of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

” Whenever the flute plays, it is a reminder of the life Willy could have chosen, one that embraced the natural world. Other symbolic references are torn stockings reminding Willy that he is unable to provide for his family; when he was able to afford new stockings, he gave them to another woman. The rubber hose, found hidden behind the fuse box by Linda, signifies Willy’s impending suicide.

Arthur Miller presents many contradictions that help Willy to overcome challenging times. Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman” addresses loss of identity and a man’s inability to accept change within himself and society. The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments over the last 24 hours of Willy Loman’s life. The play ends with Willy’s suicide and subsequent funeral. One contrast is Willy’s statement, “That goddamn Chevrolet, they ought to prohibit the manufacture of that car” (Miller, pg. 30), as he blames the car’s failures after praising its quality. Another example is: “Gee” is a boy’s word. A man walking in for fifteen thousand dollars does not say “Gee” (Miller, pg. 72).

Another way the author portrays Willy avoiding a difficult situation is through the flashback of Biff discovering his father’s affair, which is the turning point in Willy and Biff’s relationship. This flashback provides the reader with the reason for their strained relationship. Biff can’t accept his father’s deception, and Willy, lost in his illusions, doesn’t even acknowledge the affair. Willy lies to Biff because he asserts that Willy “had the wrong dreams” and that “he never knew who he was.” However, Willy brightens when he learns Biff will ask Oliver for a loan to start a business. The adoring father is in his element, instructing Biff on how to behave. In trying to escape tough situations, like needing a break from traveling, and teaching his son Biff life lessons like not saying “gee” and responsibility, Willy resorts to telling lies.

Overall, in the book “Death of a Salesman,” Willy has been lying to everyone, including his own wife and others, to wriggle out of his own situations. Instead of solving them by telling the truth, he uses symbolism, flashback, and contradiction throughout the book, illustrating the lies he has told to avoid digging himself into a hole.”

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Book Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from