Death of a Salesman BY sontaRob19 “Death of a Salesman” is a 1949 play written by Arthur Miller. This play is about an aging and struggling salesman, Willy Loman, and his familys misguided perception of success. In Willys mind being liked is more important to him than anything else to him. He also believes that his self-worth is determined by material success. In the end his beliefs is what actually destroys him, and shows how he was wrong about himself. He dies and barely anyone attends his funeral, Biff decides not to follow in his father footstep while Happy decides to follow his father’s belief.
The two major themes in “Death of a Salesman” are abandonment and betrayal. The beginning of this abandonment issue we seen started with Willys father, who left him with at a young age, and his brother who decided to head towards Alaska. Willy then started believing the American dream would take him out of an average lifestyle. Eventually this hope becomes an altered reality for Willy, failing to see his reality as a failure. Willys past and determination to achieve the American dream could be seen as of way to coping with his abandonment issues. Willy enforces his desire to obtain a erfect life by raising his sons to live this way.
Willy, dealing with this abandonment issue also decides to have an affair. This ultimately causes Biff to question his father’s ambitions and confront him at the Chop House. Betrayal is also major theme because this tragic play is full of betrayal. The first time that betrayal becomes apparent in the story is in the beginning of the play when Willys two sons, Happy and Biff come home to live with them for a while. Willy constantly speaks highly of his son Biff throughout the play showing that he admires all of the achievements that he has accomplished in high school.
Willy is also always pushing Biff to be the best that he can and motivates him to be as successful as possible because that is the only way they will be able to have happy lives. Willy wants for his sons, to conform to his misguided perception of success, however Biff chooses not to. Which make Willy believe that his son Biff has betrayed him because he chooses not to conform to his idea of the “American Dream” like he has. The easiest betrayal to spot is with his wife Linda, Willy makes lover to another woman that Linda doesn’t know about. Willy assumes that Biffs betrayal is because he discovered the affair he has been having.
However that is not the case, it’s because Biff feels as if Willy has betrayed him by telling him lies and trying to force his beliefs on him. “Death ofa Salesman” is a tragic play because it shows disappointment, failure, and death all in one. Willy wastes his time trying to prove his worth, and push his misguided perception of success onto his two children. He has gotten to the point where he can’t tell the difference between reality and an illusion anymore. In the end, his misguided perceptions played a major role in him commit suicide, and have barely anyone in attendance at his funeral.