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Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

1062 words - 4 pages

Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

Willy's character is one of a common man, he isn't anything special,
nor ever was he. He chose to follow the American dream and he chose to
lead the life it gave him. Willy made the American dream his culture,
and the American dream made Willy its victim.

The American dream is the belief that through sheer hard work alone,
any man can gain professional success and thus receive personal gain
(wealth, brand name goods etc.). Failure to fulfil the American dream,
is failure in life. Willy Loman is stuck in a vicious cycle brought on
by the American dream. He cannot bring himself to admit that he has
failed as a salesman due to his self-pride; therefore he must keep
trying to succeed. The hitch is, that he will never succeed as a
businessman, as he doesn't understand how business works. Willy Loman
believes that in order to be a successful man in the business world,
you need contacts:

"Be liked and you will never want."

Dave Singleman was a man that Willy met when he was young. Dave
Singelman was the man that inspired Willy to become a salesman. Dave
was eighty-four when Willy met him, and he was still working, but from
home. Dave would ring up the friends that he had made in his time, and
arrange business deals and meetings. This was the lifestyle that
appealed to Willy. Willy also wanted to be like Dave and 'pick up a
phone and be loved and helped my so many different people.' Dave
Singelman is the representation of a successful salesman that followed
the American Dream, and succeeded in his attempt to try and achieve
it. Willy still believes in the same principles of how a successful
salesman should be, and that was 40 years ago. Nowadays, the business
world has changed, and in order to be a success, you need to be
callous and cold blooded. Friendships and contacts are irrelevant, yet
Willy cannot adjust to these changes in values that have occurred over
time.

Willy's weakness, is his failure to understand how the business world
works and learning to adapt to new changes in time. It isn't about
having contacts and 'being liked', it is about being diligent and
ruthless; 'Business is business.'

Willy's failure to adapt is proven in Howard's office:

"In those days, there was personality in it, Howard. There was
respect, and gratitude in it. Today, it's all cut and dried, and
there's no chance for friendship to bear - or personality."

What he says, proves that he cannot adapt to change, and will never
succeed in becoming the successful businessman that he has tried to be
...

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