During his life, Miller saw that some people would never be able to realize that dream, no matter how hard they worked. He knew that not everyone had equal opportunities to succeed. What does it mean to live in a society that promises a lot but guarantees nothing? Miller wrote Death of a Salesman with that question in mind.
Characters[ edit ] William "Willy" Loman: He is 63 years old and unstable, insecure, and self-deluded. Willy tends to re-imagine events from the past as if they were real. He vacillates between different eras of his life. Willy seems childlike and relies on others for support, coupled with his recurring flashbacks to various moments throughout his career.
His first name, Willy, reflects this childlike aspect as well as sounding like the question "Will he? Willy's loyal and loving wife. Linda is passively supportive and docile when Willy talks unrealistically about hopes for the future, although she seems to have a good knowledge of what is really going on.
She chides her sons, particularly Biff, for not helping Willy more, and supports Willy lovingly even though Willy sometimes treats her poorly, ignoring her opinions over those of others. She is the first to realize that Willy is contemplating suicide at the beginning of the play, and urges Biff to make something of himself, while expecting Willy to help Biff do so.
Biff was a football star with a lot of potential in high school, but failed math his senior year and dropped out of summer school when he saw Willy with another woman while visiting him in Boston.
He wavers between going home to try to fulfill Willy's dream for him as a businessman or ignoring his father by going out West to be a farmhand where he feels happy.
He likes being outdoors and working with his hands, yet wants to do something worthwhile so Willy will be proud of him. Biff steals because he wants evidence of success, even if it is false evidence, but overall Biff remains a realist and informs Willy that he is just a normal guy and will not be a great man.
He's lived in the shadow of his older brother Biff most of his life and seems to be almost ignored, but he still tries to be supportive toward his family. He has a restless lifestyle as a womanizer and dreams of moving beyond his current job as an assistant to the assistant buyer at the local store, but he is willing to cheat a little in order to do so, by taking bribes.
He is always looking for approval from his parents, but he rarely gets any, and he even goes as far as to make things up just for attention, such as telling his parents he is going to get married. He tries often to keep his family's perceptions of each other positive or "happy" by defending each of them during their many arguments, but still has the most turbulent relationship with Linda, who looks down on him for his lifestyle and apparent cheapness, despite his giving them money.
Willy's somewhat wise-cracking yet kind and understanding neighbor. He pities Willy and frequently lends him money and comes over to play cards with him, although Willy often treats him poorly. Willy is jealous of him because his son is more successful than Willy's. Charley offers Willy a job many times during visits to his office, yet Willy declines every time, even after he loses his job as a salesman.
In Willy's flashbacks, he is a nerd, and Willy forces him to give Biff test answers. He worships Biff and does anything for him.
Later, he is a very successful lawyer, married, and expecting a second son — the same successes that Willy wants for his sons, in particular Biff. Bernard makes Willy contemplate where he has gone wrong as a father. Willy's older brother who became a diamond tycoon after a detour to Africa.
He is dead, but Willy frequently speaks to him in his hallucinations of the past. He is Willy's role model, although he is much older and has no real relationship with Willy, preferring to assert his superiority over his younger brother.
He represents Willy's idea of the American Dream success story, and is shown coming by the Lomans' house while on business trips to share stories.
Willy worked originally for Howard's father and claims to have suggested the name Howard for the newborn son.
He however sees Willy as a liability for the company and fires him, ignoring all the years that Willy has given to the company.
Howard is extremely proud of his wealth, which is manifested in his new wire recorder, and of his family.
A waiter at the restaurant who seems to be friends or acquainted with Happy. A girl whom Happy picks up at the restaurant.For example in the play, Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, the protagonist, Willy Loman, dreams of becoming a respected and successful salesman.
However, Willy Loman dreams the wrong dream and as a result its leads to his tragic demise. 'Death of a Salesman' as a Modern Tragedy In 'Death of a Salesman' Arthur Miller presents a tragedy which is different from the classical and Shakespearean tragedies. On the basis of some unconventional rules Miller produces a tragedy, which is very modern in respects of the style as well as the subject matter.
James Houghton is the founder and artistic director of New York's Signature Theatre Company, which devotes each season to the works of one living writer. The season featured Arthur Miller as a Playwright-in-Residence. On February 10, , the 56th anniversary of Death of a Salesman's Broadway debut, Miller died of heart failure at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, surrounded by Barley, family and friends.
He was 89 years old.
In March , HBO aired the documentary Arthur Miller: Writer. Directed and narrated by his daughter Rebecca, the piece Born: Oct 17, Miller’s next play, Death of a Salesman, became one of the most famous American plays of its period.
It is the tragedy of Willy Loman, a man destroyed by false values that are in large part the values of his society. For Miller, it was important to place “the common man” at the centre of a tragedy.
Arthur Miller has emerged as one of the most successful and but it wasn’t until Death of a Salesman was performed in that Miller established himself as a major Death of a Salesman has to this day remained a classic. The play’s intellectual appeal lies in Miller’s refusal to portray his characters as two-dimensional — his.