Symbolism In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

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Willy Loman is the definition of tragic. His father abandoned him as a child. This event created the desire within Willy to be liked by everyone. After observing Dave Singleman’s funeral, and the hundreds of people that attended, he knew he must become a salesman. Then everyone would know and love him. His pursuit in this unrealistic expectation led to shortcomings that, not only dragged him down, but dragged down the people around him. In “Death of a Salesman”, Arthur Miller uses strong symbolism, powerful diction, and blatant foreshadowing to show that Willy Loman drags suffering onto the people around him.
Miller uses physical objects as symbols of Willy’s failures and strong desire for validation. In one instance Willy questions Stanley in the restaurant stating, “Oh, I’d better hurry. I’ve got to get some seeds. I’ve got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground” (122). Here Willy says he has nothing in the ground just as he has no plan for his family 's future. Willy goes on to attempt to plant vegetables in his yard where it is clear nothing will grow. This is a perfect symbol for Willy wasting time pursuing a career with no reliable income, leaving his family living paycheck to paycheck. The cloud of uncertainty hanging over the family allows tension to fester within the home. Later in the play, Willy discusses with Ben the diamonds he found in Africa. Willy desires diamonds because symbolized the validation of his life
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