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Death of a Salesman Critical Essays

Arthur Miller

❶Boxing as a sports metaphor is quite different from the expected football metaphor:

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Critical Evaluation
How did Willy’s brother Ben make his fortune?

Unfortunately Willy lived to see the world around him change and pass him by. As Willy grew older he lost his ability to travel to any place and sell anything. Willy began to see the loss of his beloved lifestyle and the onset of bills and debt just to survive.

Slowly this change from the ideal to the real took its toll on Willy. As a traveling sales man, Willy spends much time driving great distances in his car. After arriving home early from a highly unsuccessful sales trip, Willy berates his car and blames it for his inability to bring home enough money to pay outstanding bills.

Willy rationalizes to himself that if the car had only been reliable, his trip would have been much more successful and he would have been better liked. This rationale holds no water considering that the few weeks Willy This research report examines various characters in each of these works. Both the film and novel are explored and Ivan in Tolstoy' Willy, too, uses a significant amount of boxing imagery, much of it quite violent. Willy uses these violent physical terms against men he perceives as challengers and competitors.

As with the tree metaphor, this one is sustained throughout the scenes with a plethora of boxing references: Miller also uses images, symbols, and metaphors as central or unifying devices by employing repetition and recurrence—one of the central tenets of so-called cluster criticism, which was pioneered in the s and s.

These clusters of words can operate both literally and figuratively in a text—as I. Richards notes in The Philosophy of Rhetoric—and, therefore, contribute significantly to the overall aesthetic and thematic impact. The first is a literal use: In both instances, Willy is asserting his superiority on the basis of his physical prowess, a point that is consistently emphasized in the play. Hap says to Letta: Willy defines masculinity by painting a ceiling, but Hap defines it by painting the town with sexual debauchery and revelry, lording his physical superiority and his sexual conquests over other men.

The third, fourth, and fifth repetitions occur in act 2 during the imagining in the hotel room when Biff discovers Willy with the woman. When the woman comes out of the bathroom, Willy says: They must be finished painting by now. Here, painting is simultaneously literal and metaphorical because of its previous usage in the play—but with a high degree of irony. He actually derived the name from a movie he had seen, The Testament of Dr.

Abbotson has noted how the first name of The Ride Down Mt. She also has analyzed the similarities between Loman and Lyman, and has argued that Lyman is a kind of alter ego to Willy some forty years later. Biff uses the boy Frank and his companions to clean the furnace room and hang up the wash—chores that he should be doing himself. Of course, all this business dishonesty emphasizes how Salesman challenges the integrity of the American work ethic.

Thus, in his choice of names, Arthur Miller may very well be manipulating his audience before the curtain rises, as they sit and read the cast of characters in their playbills. Engle explains the metaphor of law used by the lawyer Quentin in After the Fall.

Lawrence Rosinger, in a brief Explicator article, traces the metaphors of royalty that appear in Death of a Salesman. In his new authorized biography Arthur Miller: Most notable among these works are the following: Notes on the Past and Future of American Theater.

When Biff discovers Willy with the woman in the hotel room in act 2, she refers to herself as a football to indicate her humiliating treatment by Willy and, perhaps, all men. Frederick Charles Kolbe, Caroline F. Spurgeon, and Kenneth Burke pioneered much of this criticism. For example, Spurgeon did groundbreaking work in discovering the clothes imagery and the image of the babe in Macbeth. I Am Willy Loman! Works Cited Abbotson, Susan C. The Salesman Forty Years On.

University Press of America, The Philosophy of Literary Form. Louisiana State UP, Kaplan, Justin, and Anne Bernays. The Language of Names. The Poetic in the Colloquial. Edwin Mellen Press, Martin and Steven R. Da Capo Press, Conversations with Arthur Miller. Unfortunately when Willy dies, not a single person comes to his funeral.

As a result, he loses his identity, courage, and dignity throughout New England as a salesman. Realistically, Willy is not successful as a salesman due to his illusions of life. Many problems arise that force economic and personal difficulties on him and his family. Furthermore, Willy spends hours on hours dreaming of the past; thinking of himself and his sons for which he had very high hopes for. While comparing his sons to Greek Gods, Willy again manages to stray from reality and into illusion.

However, as Biff flunks math Willy makes it out as he thrown all of his opportunities away. It is with these circumstances that Biff and his father begin to separate and part ways. Willy always promises his sons prosperity and good-fortune but eventually realizes he cannot give it to them.

In result, when Willy loses Biff his life becomes an even larger failure than it has already become. A salesman is got to dream, boy. As Willy realizes his dream is in jeopardy he spends a lot of time brainstorming how to make his life what he wants it to be. Instead, it appears that his father is a loser with no potential to ever support his family in a good manner. It is at this time that their lives spread apart in a big way.

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The following paper topics are based on the entire play. Following each topic is a thesis and sample outline. Use these as a starting point for your paper. Death of a Salesman encompasses two.

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Essays and criticism on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman - Critical Evaluation.

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Critical Essays Major Themes in Death of a Salesman Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List 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. CRITICAL ANALYSIS-DEATH OF A SALESMAN -ARTHUR MILLER Arthur Miller (Oct Feb ) was, in all probability, one of the greatest playwrights of contemporary history He is also one of the greatest critics of contemporary American society, as his .

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Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Also, he explained that much of Death of a Salesman and all of The Crucible were originally written in verse; the one-act version of A View from the Bridge () was written in an intriguing mixture of verse and prose, and Miller regretted his failure to do the same in The American Clock () (Bigsby, Critical Introduction ).