Willy Loman is constantly reminiscing and thinking about the past. What effect does this have on him and on the play? To an unusual degree, The Death of a Salesman interweaves past and present action.
But these memories are not the sentimental, slightly melancholy daydreams of a contented man. Miller uses the extended flashbacks to show both that Willy longs to understand himself, and also that his efforts to do so are doomed.
Willy revisits the past not in an effort to sink into happy memories, but in an effort to analyze himself and understand where his life went wrong. His flashbacks are hardly comforting flights into idealized past times. Rather, they are harrowing journeys that get to the heart of his dysfunction. Instead, he tends to be drawn to the times at which he behaved in revealingly unpleasant ways. This tendency suggests that Willy longs for self-knowledge.
He wants to figure out how he got into his present mess, and he knows that the answers lie in the past. In his ineffectual desperation to understand what went wrong, he becomes subsumed by the past. This sense of entitlement is clearly diminished when Biff fails to keep a job and ends up at home. Willy never takes the time to teach Biff a good work ethic, good values, and strong morals, because Willy himself has not even established these within his own character.
Therefore Biff steals, does not work hard, and finds it hard to make it in the real world. Willy himself does not know what is important in life, does not have morals, and does not value his family relationships, therefore he has no way of teaching Biff these vital tools for success and happiness.
It is at this point that Biff loses respect for his father and begins to recognize the lie that he is living, thus making it a main source of conflict. You phony little fake!
As a result of this, Biff loses all respect for his father, and alternatively Willy begins to loathe Biff as well. Due to his discovery of the affair, Biff not only sees his father as a failed businessman, but a failed man. A man without money does not make him a bad man, but an adulterer who betrayed a woman who gave him everything cannot be forgiven in the eyes of a son. Death of a Salesman. Not only does Willy cheat on his wife, loathe his son, and struggle to keep a job, but he has let his values go and seems to have no moral compass of right and wrong.
It shows that he has failed in the business aspect of his life, and also in his morals. After having countless jobs over a period of several years, Biff returns home with loss of all hope of finding a steady job to support himself.
It is because Willy can see so much of himself in Biff and relates so heavily to him that these resentful feelings arise. Willy sees his failed life and career as a middle-aged man, and recognizes similar traits and qualities in Biff.
Although he never expresses these, it is apparent that Willy largely sees himself in his son and thus takes out his anger for himself on Biff, resulting in constant fighting and conflict. Literary Analysis on Death of a Salesman.
Death of a Salesman essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
Death of a Salesman raises many issues, not only of artistic form but also of thematic content. Dramatically speaking, the play represents Arthur Miller’s desire to modernize the tragedy of Aristotle described in the Poetics.
Death of a Salesman Literary Analysis Essay Words | 4 Pages. Trent Beebe Beebe 1 Mr. Arena 4th hour AP Lang & Comp 12/17/09 Death of a Salesman Essay The story, Death of a Salesman, is a story that has many literary devices that help to make it the deep and riveting story that has become an American classic. Free Death of a Salesman papers, essays, and research papers. My Account. Your search returned over essays for His analysis and critique is conveyed clearly to the audience concluding that society is based on a corrupt and immoral capitalist dream. Miller implies this through the Loman family and their struggle to survive and compete.
A+ Student Essay. Willy Loman is constantly reminiscing and thinking about the past. Why? What effect does this have on him and on the play? To an unusual degree, The Death of a Salesman interweaves past and present action. Willy Loman, the play’s protagonist, repeatedly revisits old memories, sometimes even conflating them with . Death of a Salesman Character Analysis Essay - Alistair Deacon from As Time Goes By once said that, “The people in the book need to be people.” The main character in a story or in a play always has to be somewhat likeable or relatable.