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Death of a Salesman Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay, Sister Bettina examines the function of the character of Ben in Death of a Salesman, arguing that Ben is an extension of Willy's own consciousness, and that "through [Ben] Miller provides for the audience a considerable amount of the tragic insight which, though never quite reaching Willy, manifests itself to them in the dramatic presentation of the workings of his mind."

In the thirteen years since Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman had its spontaneous Broadway success, critics have often cited as a deficiency in it the lack of tragic insight in its hero, Willy Loman, "He never knew who he was," says his son Biff at Willy's grave; and by a like judgment critics can substantially discount the play's tragic claims.

But Biff's choric commentary on his father, like many other very quotable remarks in the scene of Willy's "requiem," is not quite...

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This section contains 1,635 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Death of a Salesman Study Guide
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Death of a Salesman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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