Death of a salesman
Death of a salesman by Arthur miller addresses the various conflicts that exist in a family. By tackling the conflicts it points out various issues that regard the American national values. This can attributed to the fact that various Americans have the blind faith in the American dream. It is this blind faith that obscures personal truth and moral vision of many American people as envisaged by the country’s founders.
The unfolding in death of sales man is mainly shaped by four major characters.
Willy Lowman fails to achieve self realization even after trying to search through his past. He therefore makes a resolution of discovering the truth in the afterlife. He thinks that it’s only through suicide that his quest fro self realization will be achieved. His quest to self realization is blinded by his own wiliness that is pegged on his unrealistic thinking. Willy is entangled in a world of delusions and self deceptions based on the slanting reality that his mind has forged. It is this twist in his thoughts that make him to be even blinded and not appreciate the love offered to him by the family. His strayed mind thinks that it is only through death that he will truly resolve his quest. He sacrifices himself with the hope that Biff will achieve the American dream through the inheritance he leaves behind.
Biff on the other hand is a realist. He is able to acknowledge his shortcomings in life. He does not let delusions take over him like Willy. It is this realistic approach to life that makes Willy think of him as an underachiever. This makes Biff to become a prisoner to the grandiose fantasies of Willy. However, Biff does not let the delusions that surround his life affect him forever. He is thus determined to free himself from the identity crisis brought by his fathers disillusionment.
Happy shares the same sentiments of Willy’s disillusionment. His disillusionment is irreparable. He lets his mind sail into disillusionment. He is swallowed up by blind ambitions. For instance he claims to be the assistant buyer at the shop while in the real sense he is just an assistant to the assistant buyer.
Linda Lowman and charley:
The two form the forces of reason in the play. Linda views freedom as the key to success and stability. However, Willy’s delusionment for the American dream left her internally conflicted. Despite all the delusionment that Willy posed, Linda remained tough and realistic.
Charley is effeminate. He sees delusionment as a failure. He is of the opinion that Willy’s predicaments could simply by avoided by using common sense.
The American dream was envisaged by the founding fathers of America. Many Americans keep chasing the American dream. However, the realization of the American dream poses a challenge to the values of various families in America. Through Arthur millers play, it is evident that many Americans are loosing tough with reality. The play tries to show how various individuals are delusioned about the American dream at the expense of reality.
Miller, Arthur. “Death of a Salesman.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. Ed. Aron Keesbury. Boston: Thomson Higher Education, 2002. 1445-1525. Print.