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, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman’s life.
The jungle symbolizes the wild world of commerce and business where anything can happen, and one can strike it rich. Ben says to Willy: “the jungle is dark but full of diamonds ,” meaning that it’s chaotic and difficult out there, but you can make it. Willy never does make it, never does find the diamonds .
Walked into a jungle and comes out, the age of twenty-one, and he’s rich! This is a principal refrain for Ben . Although Willy is the first one to use this line , Ben repeats it many times throughout the play, making it clear that Ben is only a figment of Willy’s imagination.
In Death of a Salesman there are three different versions of the American Dream . He believes that the American Dream is to work hard and gain something from putting everything into nothing. Unfortunately for him, his way of thinking has made him ruthless.
It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. It is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.
|Death of a Salesman|
|Subject||The waning days of a failing salesman|
|Setting||Late 1940s; Willy Loman’s house; New York City and Barnaby River; Boston|
Willy Loman’s version of the Dream , which has been influenced by his brother Ben’s success, is that any man who is manly, good looking, charismatic, and well-liked deserves success and will naturally achieve it. Over the course of his lifetime, Willy and his sons fall short of the impossible standards of this dream .
Quote by Arthur Miller: “The jungle is dark but full of diamonds, Willy .”
Diamonds . To Willy, diamonds represent tangible wealth and, hence, both validation of one’s labor (and life) and the ability to pass material goods on to one’s offspring, two things that Willy desperately craves. Correlatively, diamonds , the discovery of which made Ben a fortune, symbolize Willy’s failure as a salesman
The main themes and symbols of Death of a Salesman include family relationships and, at large, the shortcomings of the American dream and all of its consequences, namely the financial well-being that can afford people certain luxuries. Overview of the themes presented in Death of a Salesman.
Ben is Willy’s adventurous and lucky older brother. Of course, he’s dead, so he only appears in the play as a character in Willy’s troubled imagination. Willy totally idolizes Ben because he was an adventurer who escaped the world of business and got rich quick by finding diamonds in the African jungle.
Who Is Charley ? Charley is Willy Loman’s neighbor and only friend in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. He and Willy have a friendly relationship that is depicted in one scene when they are playing cards.
This is why Biff goes to Bill Oliver to ask him for a loan of $10,000 that would be put towards a down payment for Biff and his brother, Happy, to start a business together.
Willy had quite a few ‘ wrong ‘ dreams and they could have turned into ‘right’ dreams if his perception of the American dream was right. Dave Singleman was the man who sowed the false umbrella dream in Willy’s mind. However Willy’s perception of this dream was warped and therefore the rest of his dreams turned out wrong .
Willy Loman’s suicide can also be interpreted as a demonstration of his power. Due to the failure of his dream Willy felt horrendously humiliated. From the company where he spent the productive period of the life working as a salesman, he received no economic security.
Failure 3: Biff can’t seem to find a job that suits him, and although things were going well for him in Texas, he panicked because the job he had as a farmhand wasn’t the kind of job Willy expected him to have. Biff failed to fulfill Willy’s expectations, and that makes him a complete failure in his father’s eyes.