“Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller

As it happens in many cases the literature does not simply tell fiction stories, but illustrates some ideas connected with a modern for the author society. Among such examples one can find the tragical drama “Death of a Salesman”. In this play Miller does not only depict an average American family, but draws a parallel between the family microcosm and the society, in which the dream of wealth and prosperity appears to be the most significant for the main hero of the story. According to Meyer “Miller placed his characters in a social context so that their behavior within the family suggests larger implications: the death of this salesman raises issues concerning the significance and value of the American dream of success” (Meyer, 1401).

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Several examples from the play can prove this idea. Miller emphasizes the family dynamic as the father wants to take care of his sons and help them to become successful businessmen, but his sons, especially Biff, have got different ideas about what is important in life. These disagreements about life values foster the central conflict of the drama. All the family members Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy represent the father, mother, and two sons of the average working class American family, where the father is the old-fashioned man, who believes that hard work, and regular income is the greatest value, the mother is always supporting her husband, and the sons are the representatives of a younger generation, whose more modern views hinder their father to fulfill his dream about success. Linda, who loves her husband above all, supports Willy and tries to help him in persuading their sons about finding job as she knows that Willy is addicted to the dream of success and money, but, consequently, the attitude to work leads to problematic relationship between the family members. Finally, neglecting the human qualities in the family appears to be the crucial reason for Willy Lonman’s failure. Therefore, Miller tries to show his readers the impact of the society values on people. Having grown in the American society with its value of the American dream of success becomes destructive to the individuals.