preview

Theme Of Ageism In Death Of A Salesman

Good Essays
As people grow old, their bodies and their minds tend to slow down and with this process comes the need for retirement or the necessity to take on less responsibility. There is a belief in society that as people age they cannot produce or be a strong commodity like they were in their youth. This conviction that the elderly cannot keep up with the younger workforce is obvious in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman. The protagonist, Willy Loman, is not as competent of a salesman as he was in his younger age. In the play, Willy is regularly showing signs of old age by experiencing hallucinations, not performing his job well, and ultimately losing his job as he is not meeting his quotas. Arthur Miller’s play showcases ageism through its portrayal of an aging salesman, Willy Loman, who is no longer considered valuable. Three parts focus and depict this concept of ageism- in his workplace, in his home life and in his self-esteem. Ageism is depicted strongly in this play as it is one of the causes for Willy’s downfall. As Willy gets on with age, he no longer is able to meet his sales quotas, which results in his termination and ultimately begin unable to provide for his family. The hallucinations and flashbacks that Willy experiences confirm him senility approaching. This furthers his downfall as he tries to live his life through his successful brother Ben or his son Biff who was once a popular and well-liked person. Lastly, when Willy loses his job he feels he has no
Get Access