Death of a Salesman Essay

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An educator and author, Domina discusses the themes of failure and delusion that pervade Miller's landmark work.

Arthur Miller's classic American play, Death of a Salesman, exposes the relationship between gender relationships and dysfunctional family behaviors. In this play, the themes of guilt and innocence and of truth and falsehood are considered through the lens of family roles. Willy Loman, the salesman whose death culminates the play, is an anti-hero, indeed the most classic of anti-heroes. According to an article on the play in Modern World Drama, Willy is "a rounded and psychologically motivated individual" who "embodies the stupidity, immorality, self-delusion, and failure of middle-class values." While his self-delusion is his primary flaw, this characteristic is not necessarily tragic since Willy neither fights against it nor attempts to turn it toward good. Dennis Welland in his book, Miller: The Playwright summarized this view, critiquing critics who believe that...

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This section contains 1,547 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death of a Salesman Study Guide
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Death of a Salesman from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.