Death of a Salesman

How does the play's title contradict the ideal and the real in the play?

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Death of a salesman title can be seen both figuratively and literally. The death of willy happened long ago , his career died long before the body of willie loeman died.

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Death of a salesman

Thanks for the quick answer, Ms. Tracey.. This question was given to me by my professor to make an article about... I can't understand how can the title contradict the ideal and the real... The word contradict itself here makes me a big problem right here, and based on your answer, how can the title contradict such deaths?

The reality of it is that willy for a while was dying a slow death. His career was halted, he was stuck he was no longer the young vibrant salesman that earned a great living. His marriage was a facade looked good on the outside but on the inside was dying as well. He wanted his sons to be these great successes but they ended up being failures in his eyes, just as he was a failure to them. His relationship with them died when biff found him in the hotel room with a call girl. As a matter of fact the life he was living was the path to his death. That was the ideal. The real would be that him wanting the American dream, the great success caused him to get him self I'll which led to his physical death.

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Death of a salesman

Thank you so much again, but i can't see any contradiction. Where is the contradiction in between the two things here?

Ok one of the major themes of the play is contradiction. Throughout the entire play, will's behavior is full of contradictions and inconsistencies ? the only thing consistent about Willy is him being inconsistent . In Act I, Scene 1, Willy reveals this . He labels Biff a "lazy bum" but then contradicts himself two lines later when he states, "And such a hard worker. There's one thing about Biff — he's not lazy." These contradictions often make the audience confused at the beginning of the play, but soon they become a trademark of his character.this inconsistent behavior is the result of him unable to accept reality and his tendency to re-create the past in an attempt to escape the present.

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Death of a salesman

Okay, How does all of this contradict with the title?

It is because he really does not see himself as a failure however the contradiction is that everyone else does. With the title, it is contradictory because As Elia Kazan once said, �Willy is one vast contradiction, and this contradiction is his downfall(1). His frequent ambivalent attitudes on pride, being well liked, success and his affair contribute to this contradiction, and portray Willy Loman as a victim of little more than a capitalistic paradigm. Kazan, Elia. Notebook. New York, 1960. A Theater In Your Head. Ed. Liza McAllister. Williams. Oct. 2000 work cited

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Death of a salesman Kazan, Elia. Notebook. New York, 1960. A Theater In Your Head. Ed. Liza McAllister. Williams. Oct. 2000