Death of a Salesman
Sales and Dreams
In Arthur Miller's Play Death of a Salesman, the dreams of the major characters are the central focus of the plot. The Lomans, particularly Willy, struggle to realize their dreams while fearing that these goals are unreachable. Yet this fear is necessary to the hope; Willy would much rather dream than succeed. It is the destruction of his dream that destroys him, not merely its failure.
Willy Loman, the central character of the play, dreams of success in business. He wants to be well-liked, the quality which he believes is the key to success. He also wants his sons to follow in his footsteps and be popular. During the actual time of the play, however, Willy's dreams have obviously failed. He is a sixty-year-old salesman whose friends have all died and who gets fired halfway through the play. One of his sons is a farmhand, the other is in the business world as assistant to an assistant. Willy spends the play thinking back on his better days and often believing that they are reality. His obsession with dreams prevents him from seeing the wreck of his life.
Willy does not want to acknowledge the state of his life, and uses his daydreams to escape the knowledge. He even acts on them, refusing to salvage the present if it...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 970 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7748 literature essays, 2170 sample college application essays, 323 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in