Miller uses the Loman family — Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy — to construct a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder. Willy had an affair over 15 years earlier than the real time within the play, and Miller focuses on the affair and its aftermath to reveal how individuals can be defined by a single event and their subsequent attempts to disguise or eradicate the event. Biff realizes that Willy has created a false image of himself for his family, society, and even for himself.
After a lifetime of hard work, Willy has little to show for his efforts. Material success has eluded him, and paying the household bills each month is still a matter of concern.
Shallow, selfish, and irresponsible, Happy is content to chase women and charm his parents to avoid accountability; Biff is a deeply troubled drifter, a liar and a thief, continually searching but unable to find a purpose or any sense belonging in the world. He had gotten as far as Yonkers, he explains to Linda, but he could go no farther.
As Willy recounts why he turned around and how he managed to drive home, the seriousness of his physical and mental decline is immediately evident as the play gets under way, and his deterioration grows more disturbing in each act. He often gets lost in the past and finds it harder and harder to remain in the present; his mind in turmoil, he contradicts himself, forgetting what he has just said.
Willy Loman is in some ways a conscientious husband and father who loves his family and feels responsible for them; he is also, however, self-centered, demanding, antagonistic, and critical.
In his emotional unraveling, Willy can be interpreted as a tragic figure destroyed by the materialistic values of his time and the intensely profit-driven economy in which he works, but he also can be interpreted as a man without integrity who has sown the seeds of his own destruction, which makes him a pitiful figure rather than a tragic one.
So attention must be paid.
The construction of the stage set facilitates moving the audience from the reality of the present. Lighting and music are also employed to signal transitions. It has been staged in subsequent award-winning Broadway productions four times and remains in the history of American theater one of the most frequently produced and adapted dramas.
Death of a Salesman is very much a play of a particular era in American history, the period following the Great Depression and World War II when capitalism and an invigorated consumerism driven by advertising merged to produce intense competition for profits in the marketplace.
The deprivations of the Depression and the war were replaced by an influx of goods that Americans wanted and could now buy, with cash or with credit.
Materialism became a national value, redefining the American Dream. The character of Willy Loman remains synonymous with ambition in pursuit of a flawed American Dream and the delusion that success is defined by money and material possessions and acquiring them is the path to happiness and personal fulfillment.
About this Document eNotes lesson plans have been written, tested, and approved by working classroom teachers. The main components of each plan are the following: An in-depth introductory lecture.Upset at his father’s unrelenting misconception that he, Biff, was a salesman for Oliver, Biff plans to relieve Willy of his illusions.
Willy enters, and Biff tries gently, at first, to tell him what happened at Oliver’s office. Sample Essay Outlines Death of a Salesman eNotes Lesson Plan * This download is only available with the eNotes Teacher's Subscription.
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A pathetic tale examining the consequences of man's harmartias, Arthur Miller's "Death of A Salesman" satisfies many, but not all, of.
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Arthur Miller's play 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 .