Death of a Salesman
In “Death of a Salesman”, by Arthur Miller, the play is intimately tied up with the idea of the American dream and the concept of opportunity. America claims to be the land of social mobility and even the poorest man should be able to move upward in life through his own hard work. Miller complicates this idea of opportunity by linking it to time, and illustrating that new opportunity does not occur everyday.
At the beginning of the play, Arthur Miller establishes Willy Loman as a troubled, misguided man, looking for several opportunities to find success. As a traveling salesman, he is having trouble lately because he can’t keep his mind on the present and he keeps drifting back and forth between reality and memory, looking for exactly where his life went wrong. A strong core of resentment in Willy’s character and his actions assumes a more glorious past than was actually the case. Miller presents Willy as a strong man with great bravado, but little energy to support his impression of vitality. He is weary and exhibits signs of dementia, contradicting himself while also displaying some memory loss. Although Willy always believed that being well liked was the key to success, he soon begins to wonder what missed opportunity or wrong turn led his life to this point. . I found the beginning of the play as something that many people can relate to. People will always have regrets and feel that they have missed out on opportunities throughout their life.
Linda, in contrast, shows little of Willy’s negative intensity, showing a dependable and kind woman, perpetually attempting to smooth out any conflicts that Willy might encounter. Linda has a similar longing for an idealized past, but has learned to suppress her dreams and her dissatisfaction with her husband and sons. Miller indicates that she is a woman with deep regrets about her life and she must continually reconcile...