Self-Image In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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Since the dawn of advertising in America in 1841, advertising and marketing professionals have helped shape how Americans define gender roles, masculinity, and femininity and heavily influenced consumers’ self-image by encouraging consumers to compare their personal traits and physical attributes to idealized versions of men, women, children, and families (, n.d.). Subsequently, Americans have been continually assailed by a litany of unrealistic images of masculinity, femininity, beauty, and success for well over a hundred years. Thus, developing a societal predisposition towards materialism and assigning societal status based upon the perceived value of an individual’s appearance and/or material possessions (Solomon, 2011). Hence, the self-concept and self-esteem of many Americans has been shaped by the images perpetuated by advertising and marketing professionals. Consequently, many years ago, Theodore Roosevelt wisely lamented “comparison is the thief of joy.”…show more content…
Subsequently, throughout the play Willy made comments about his physical stature that gave the audience insight into his insecurities regarding his appearance. In one instance, he advised Linda, he thought he overheard a rival salesman call him a “walrus” and he slapped the salesman in the face (Miller, 1949/2012, pg. 978). Willy, also frequently eluded to Biff’s height when he discussed Biff’s accolades and his beliefs about Biff’s potential. Willy enjoyed seeing Biff tower above his peers after they rushed the field to congratulate him after winning the big
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