Death of a Salesman is a story of Willy Loman who desperately tries to seek for success in a nation with numerous opportunities richness. However, only a few people can achieve such high goals. In his long, tireless journey, Willy loses the meaning of what is essential and becomes entirely blinded by the wealth he would have been able to get. Considered a modern-day tragedy, the Death of a Salesman indicates a tragic aspect of the American Dream. In America, people have the freedom of pursuing their goals, no matter how high they may seem to be but in the real sense, just a few can be achieved. Willy Loman is among the many people who strive for higher goals but are unable to meet them. Unlike many people, the American dream has become a big hurdle in the life of Willy. He loves money so much, has low self-esteem, and blindly hero-worships successful men (Parker, 1966). Willy Loman is not the only character in the play. Numerous other characters are used in the play by Arthur Miller to help bring his point home.
Willy Loman is the protagonist of the play, and insecurities and general illusions regarding life characterize him. Even though he seems to believe in the dream of rising to success in business and richness which follows, he becomes alluded in the vision. He becomes disappointed even in his son who fails to believe in his unrealistic expectations. As life realities close up with him, his failure to achieve what he expected, mistakes he made in the past, and disappointments he made to his family start to lose touch with reality. He then begins suffering from despair and dementia making him begins developing suicidal thoughts (Parker, 1966). Several other characters in the play have their story too. They include Biff Loman, Linda Loman, Happy Loman, Charley, Bernard, among others. The research essay will focus on the traits and personalities of the characters and the role they play in the story.
Parker, Brian. (1966) “Point of View in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.” University of Toronto Quarterly 35.2: 144-157.