With its universal themes of living the American dream, abandonment, and betrayal resonating with American audiences, Death of a Salesman quickly transformed Author Miller into a renowned 20th century playwright Bradford. Death of a Salesman depicts the life of the Loman family, a working class family in which the aging father, Willy Loman, struggles to become a successful salesman. Having spent his early career charming his way with customers in an effort to fulfill the American dream, Willy fails to adapt to the changing business world, in which charm alone with the lack of knowledge has little effect.
Arthur Miller is a distinctive dramatist in his own right, with extensive uses of dramatic elements in his plays, such as sound, particular attention to stage settings, and his dialogues. Critics have noted the impact of his relatively simple use of language for his dialogues, with no grandiose wordplay whatsoever- in its simplicity lies its beauty.
Another aspect of his plays is the profound use of surreal elements, which form a beautiful symbiotic relationship with the realistic parts of the play, as if holding some semblance of delicate balance, on the verge of dangerously tipping. There are quite a few analytical aspects to this piece of work, and the one this paper will explore, is the grand debate on its central character.
Various critics have remarked on the fragile nature of Willy Loman primarily believed to be the protagonist of the play by many and given evidence and personal opinions as to why he may not be the central character after all.
Willy Loman is a salesman, a middle class salesman in the drama, and the play revolves around him as he tries to justify and make sense of his existence to the cruel and unappreciative society.
He does that through various devices- mainly through his sons, and through the surreal appearance of Ben, his dead, successful the American dream definition of it brother.
Linda is another character which makes an impact in her own right- the quiet force, the glue that holds the family together, the wife of Willy Loman.
Happy, the elder son is generally excluded from this debate as his character does not really influence any action- it is him, rather, who gets influenced by the judgments and whims of other characters. This paper will attempt to deconstruct some of the aspects of these characters, and try and provide evidence for justifying who the central character is, and hopefully arrive at a concrete conclusion.
Firstly, the character of Willy Loman will be under scrutiny. Naturally, many have deviated from that character profile. Willy Loman is quite the sore thumb in this line of thought.
His character thoroughly lacks all the hallmarks of any sort of elevated position. But in this anomaly of his lies his greatness- his ambitions, his dreams. His inability to fulfill those dreams is sadly, his tragic flaw, and ultimately, his desire to manifest those dreams around him results in his downfall.
By contrast, a protagonist who cannot be alone, who cannot summon the intelligence and strength to scrutinize his condition and come to some understanding of it-whatever agony it may cost him-seems disqualified for the tragic stature literature can bestow.
This is perhaps what makes Loman such a feasible protagonist, and such an appealing one as far as literary appreciation is concerned. Loman is the force that moves the events in the play, the one that is responsible for its volatility.
He drags the entire family into the quagmire of his decisions, and attempts to influence their lives to attain satisfaction, as he seems resigned to his fate. His anger bursts, however, are shown to be quite hollow when he interacts with people outside the sphere of his house, displaying further disconnection to society.
For by entering the dark, unknown "jungle" of death Loman might bring out tangible wealth, "like diamonds," thus becoming as much an adventurer as Ben but within the skyscraper world of New York.
He imagines himself then having a funeral as massive as Singleman's, one that would leave Biff "thunderstruck.
Biff knows that all these momentary achievements are extremely fickle in nature, and wants his father to realize that. The light of their room begins to fade. BIFF to himself in bed: Willy Loman does the same for his favorite son, often seen fondly speaking about him and praising him for the smallest things.
This very nature of his tends to bring out the agitated nature of his father, often leading to sudden conflicts. This analysis leads to one realization- Biff is more than suitable for the candidate of the protagonist.
Like a young god. Hercules — something like that. And the sun, the sun all around him. Remember how he waved to me? Right up from the field, with the representatives of three colleges standing by?
And the buyers I brought, and the cheers when he came out — Loman, Loman, Loman! A star like that, magnificent, can never really fade away! Willy, in his own narrow perspective, very much aspires to reach and taste that sweet scent of success Biff had on the event of that football match.
This does shake his pedestal as the protagonist a bit, leading to further debate. Quote number  talks about one of the goals Loman hopes to achieve after death- to regain his unity with Biff.
If Biff is given such prominence, the informed reader may as well come to a conclusion- that Biff is indeed the central character. Weighing the evidence on both sides, and coming to a conclusion is relatively tough, as there is enough evidence to prove the arguments on both sides.
This then boils to down to a matter of pure personal opinion- and, this paper will conclude that the title of protagonist will indeed be retained by Willy Loman.A summary of Symbols in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Death of a Salesman and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. A summary of Motifs in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Death of a Salesman and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Analysis of Biff Loman in Death of A Salesman Home / English Notes / Drama / Analysis of Biff Loman in Death of A Salesman Read this article to know about the .
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. Literary Criticism of Death of a Salesman.
Willie Loman's bone-tired. He's been a salesman all his life. The play ''Death of a Salesman'' by Arthur Miller shows Willie's descent into depression after a lifetime spent trying to charm others into smiling. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is A Modern Tragedy Essay Words | 5 Pages.
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman is A Modern Tragedy In the fourth century B.C., Aristotle set forth his description of dramatic tragedy, and for centuries after, tragedy continued to be defined by his basic observations.