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Death of a salesman Essay

Death of a Salesman Essay sample

The play, Death of a Salesman, was written by American playwright known as Arthur Miller. The play is a description of an American, Willy Loman who had to loose his life for the sake of the family. The Death of a Salesman describes the conflict between individuals, families and social lives in America. This study will analyze the consequences of the conflicts. It will show how Willy tried to live a life he could not afford and how he ran away from his problems instead of facing them like a man. The paper will also show the results of cheating on the spouse and the family at large.


A real man should face his problems directly and should be faithful to his wife. The tragedy of Willy Loman started due to his pride, and he was also misled in worshiping money thus becoming a victim of his social wrongs since he ended up taking his life for the family to settle the massive debts he had incurred for trying to live a luxurious life that was not within his reach.

Willy Loman, working for a company called Wagner, is an ageing travelling salesman. After working for thirty years is fired by Howard Wagner, the head of the enterprise, on the basis that he is too old to sell the products of the company and enable the company to meet the primary goal of profit maximization. However, Willy Loman has accrued massive debts, and he and his wife are struggling very hard to pay the bills. His two sons, Biff and Happy, are not helpful at all at this. Willy’ primary goals were to become famous and start his own business. But this did not happen, and he ended up killing himself.

According to Miller, we should not be misled in worshiping money; otherwise, we are bound to become victims of social wrongs. In the play, Willy Loman does not want to accept the reality of his financial status and thus he is unable to avoid the conflicts between him, his family and the society as a whole. The man is simply in crisis. He has lost his job, and he cannot clear his debts. On the other side, his sons don’t respect him, and they don’t seem to assist him in realizing his goals. He is now in a dilemma of how he can make things up for his wife and the children.

After dismissal from work, he is offered another job by a friend, Charley, but doesn’t accept the offer because of his pride and he is also in denial that he has been fired from the company he has worked for thirty years. In one incidence, he is caught by Biff while committing adultery with “The Woman” during his Boston trip. Biff is angered by this, and he wonders how his father is treating a stranger luxurious way while his family is being faced by many problems to make ends meet back at home. Willy tries to ask for a non-travelling job but instead of being paid for the service he had offered the company for the past thirty years; he is fired for not making enough sales.

Willy outlook on moral values is wrong. He wants him and his family to be popular and be “well-liked”. It is not wrong to be popular and be well liked, but you have to work for it. He thought that they come automatically. He would have worked hard like Charley, his friend and being well liked and the popularity he was seeking would have come automatically. Willy also makes Biff think that he is also well liked and in return, he starts stealing, and his father condones the thefts because he believes his son will succeed him in life. Initially, Willy Loman believes he is well liked, and he is a very successful salesman. Willy thinks that the company he works of loves his work. Willy refuses to accept a job he is offered by Charley since he is jealous and too proud. He was wrong on his actions since he had never been a successful salesman. Willy character is not compelling. He lives in his fantasies where he is a man. In the real sense, Willy is lazy and does not want to confront his problems like a man.

Willy is living in a dreamland. He reaches a situation that he cannot sell products that will earn him a commission as a salesman. He ends up borrowing money from his neighbor Charley and tells his wife that it his money he has made from his sales. The borrowings continue to indulge him into more debts and make the problems more poorly. He wants to live a life he cannot afford. In one instance he is heard saying “I feel kind temporary about myself”. This means that he doesn’t believe in himself. He gradually realizes that he is living beyond his means.

The loss of his job is now the start of the major tragedy. The children begin to disrespect him, and they fail to secure job opportunities to help the running of the family. Willy and Linda are passing a difficult time in trying to pay the bills that have accrued. At the beginning of   The Death of Salesman, Willy is established as misguided and a troubled man. On the other hand, Miller makes it equally apparent that Willy Loman is not a lucky man.  But in his sixties, he is a travelling salesperson although he didn’t have a stable occupation. The play is an eye opener for people. Men should face the problems instead of running from them. Willy should have sought other means to solve his problems instead of killing himself. However, his death was a solution to his family’s problems to some extent since the wife was able to pay the mortgage. But in the real sense, the death robbed her husband and a father to the children. His worst actions was to dwell on past and to think he was successful worker though he was not. After dismissal from his job, he should have accepted the job he was offered by Charley. His jealousness and pride made him refuse acceptance of the offer. His troubles would have been solved by acceptance of this position to some extent.









Work Cited

Abbotson, S. (2012). Death of a Salesman. The Arthur Miller Journal7(1/2), 147.

John, D. (2008). Death of a salesman. Docs. school Publications.

Miller, A. (2007). Death of a Salesman. Edited and with an introd. by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publications.

O’Brien, L. (2014). Death of a Salesman. The Arthur Miller Journal9(1/2), 99.

Zinman, T. Death of a Salesman.


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