Death of a Salesman

Shattered Dream - The Delusion of Willy Loman

"The jagged edges of a shattered dream." Do you find that the play leaves you with such an impression?

Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man confronting failure in the success-driven society of America and shows the tragic trajectory which eventually leads to his suicide. Willy Loman is a symbolic icon of the failing America; he represents those that have striven for success but, in struggling to do so, have instead achieved failure in its most bitter form. Arthur Miller's tragic drama is a probing portrait of the typical American psyche portraying an extreme craving for success and superior status in a world otherwise fruitless. To some extent, therefore, Death of Salesman is concerned with the 'jagged edges of a shattered dream' but on another more tragic and bitter level, it also evokes the decline of a man into lunacy and the subsequent effect this has on those around him, particularly his family.

Miller amalgamates the archetypal tragic hero with the mundane American citizen. The result is the anti-hero, Willy Loman. He is a simple salesman who constantly aspires to become 'great'. Nevertheless, Willy has a waning career as a salesman and is an aging man who considers himself to be a...

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