Death Of A Salesman Analysis

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Both Miller and O’Neill explore the changing values of American society as depicted through the attitudes towards the American Dream. Both the protagonists have different perspectives on the American Dream and so this reflects the change in values within American society. Loman is idealistic and enamoured with the American dream. Whereas Hans is an immigrant who is not as invested in the dream because his life is at a turning point and the dream is far too vulnerable, similarly to New York post 9/11, for him to depend on. As critic Barclay Bates states, “Death of a Salesman is about triumph of the present over the past” this is particularly prominent when Willy returns from his monotonous job as a salesman, he tells his wife, “I’m tired to death. (The flute has faded away,)” The short declarative sentence depicts that his job is becoming strenuous for him and that he finds it harrowing, however there is no indication that he will stop, it suggests that he will continue like he always does. Miller uses the motif of the flute to symbolise the sombre tone of the play. Also, by placing this in the first scene Miler’s intention is to depict that the American society is oppressing Willy and men like Willy as he is a symbol of the common man, leading them to their “death”. Miller portrays Willy’s strife to depict that although post Great-depression resulted in hope and change, therefore people had do evolve with the times and shape their lives and business to fit in the with the

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