A death salesman essay on the Pulitzer Prize–winning play by Arthur Miller can pick up on different stages and elaborate the characters or other elements of it. Willy Loman is an old, lonely salesman who gets the feeling he is alone and unwanted in his occupation. Both Arthur Miller and Willy Loman are household names. The play, which ran for 742 performances, has won the Tony Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize for drama. A student writing a term paper would have enough to write about on this play.
The play in hard copy sold 11 million copies. It is a highly emotional drama and highlights the weakness in Loman, lack of self knowledge. In his quest to attain greatness at the ripe old age of 63 years, he brings about his own downfall. He not only fails to understand how age is against him but also relates greatness to charisma and popularity. From among the many plays that made history around the same period, 1949, Death of a Salesman became the most popular. It has managed to come out as a classic that has left its mark in history.
The characters that make up the play are interesting and people have identified with them for a long time now. Willy Loman is of course the central character. His wife, Linda is concerned about him. Biff is the older son who never seems to have achieved anything according to Loman. Happy, the younger son, is not far behind and on their return to the father’s house think in vain of their achievements. They fantasize and consider buying a ranch. Linda is the sober person in the house. She scolds her husband for sulking and criticizing Biff. As dissatisfaction spreads, Willy indulges in day dreaming in an attempt to find solace. A death salesman essay can highlight the futility of the whole escapism that Willy indulges in.
A narrative essay in the first act would help visualize how Willy’s daydream takes shape. He imagines his sons to be younger. Biff is a high school football star. Willy starts to imagine all the things that would have made him and his family happy. He confides in his sons that one day he would succeed in a business that would be bigger and better than his neighbor Charley. This shows his real lack of vision. Even in his dream, his son is shown weak in mathematics and needs help from Charley’s son. An essay writing exercise should be able to visualize the deep regret Willy has that his son needs help. He always seems to demonstrate a self defeatist attitude and assumes that nobody likes him.
The second act also follows the same routine and Willy finally finds solace in the knowledge that his son Biff loves him. He takes the extreme step and ends his life so that his family can survive off $20,000 insurance money. Life did not give his joy, but he found the courage to provide for his family by dying for them. The death salesman essay can truly bring out the very deep truth of life that can stir up emotions.