Willy Loman Present Time Analysis

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Death of A Salesman, written by Arthur Miller in 1949, follows an aged salesman, Willy Loman, as he struggles to accept the reality of his failing career and misguided life principles. In this essay, I will examine the structure of the play and how Miller has used time and space to reveal character, present Willy’s faulty ideals, and foreshadow. The play is broken into two acts and a requiem: each segment takes place on a different day in the present day, within the world of the play. For the purpose of this essay, I will refer to ‘present day’ as the present time experienced by all the characters in the world of the play. The only person who experiences time differently in the play is Willy, whose mind straddles present time and his memories. Within Act I and Act II, Miller interlaces the events happening in present day, with Willy’s flashbacks. The use of flashback offers essential background context to the present day events that…show more content…
This tension is created by well placed moments of foreshadowing. Miller foreshadows Biff stealing Bill Oliver’s fountain pen in Act II, with a flashback in Act I where Biff boasts to Willy about ‘borrowing’ the ball from the locker room. Another instance of foreshadowing is the rubber tube that symbolizes the imminent suicide of Willy. It first appears when Linda reveals to Biff that Willy has been trying to kill himself. He has tried to gas himself to death. Biff removes the rubber tube in the following scene and confronts Willy with it in the last scene of Act II. The confrontation is one of the catalysts for Willy’s decision to take his life. He is seen running out of the house and speeding away in his car. It is revealed in the requiem that Willy had ended his life. Only his family and Charley attend his funeral. None of his friends, colleagues or customers have turned up to pay their

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