Arthur Miller’s Play Death of a Salesman

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The play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller takes place almost entirely in the head of its main protagonist, Willy Loman.The play continually evolves through a series of flashbacks to the past and flashes of what Willy is actually experiencing in the present.This allows the viewer of the play not only to meet Willy Loman as the father of two grown boys, but also see a bit of his own relationship, with his own brother.It shows that Willy was always a dreamer, more interested in dreaming of making money than actually possessing the real-life capabilities of doing Unlike Ben Loman, rather than being a financial success, Willy Loman is about to lose his job at the beginning of the play.He is failing as a salesman and failing in mind and body.Willy feels as if he might be better off dead than alive because of his inability to make money, something that the playwright Miller suggests indicates the failure of American capitalism’s value of the human mind and spirit as well as Willy’s failure as a provider to his family.However, even more poignantly, Willy is failing as a father—not because of his financial poverty, but because of his refusal to see either his wife or sons as whom they truly are.He fails to see his family for whom they truly are as human beings because he is so focused on himself and his own failings. Rather, Willy idealizes his elder son Biff.He is disappointed that Biff has left his parents and refused to go to college—”Work a lifetime to pay of a house. You finally own it and there’s nobody to live in it,” says Willy.But Biff feels he cannot relax and admit to his father whom he is, and how little he has accomplished in life, because Willy expects so much of him.Willy encouraged Biff, whom is now, as an adult also wandering and lost as a human being, much like his father, to indulge in similar an…

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