Death of A Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, is a play based on the turmoil within an average American family. Miller wrote Death of A Salesman easily showcasing the elements of drama. I was easily able to follow the plot, identify with his characters, and picture the setting.
The main theme of the plot seemed to be Willy reaching for the "American Dream". Financial success, business success, outwardly perfect family, revered by your peers, and in general respected by all. Early on in the play two things are evident to the reader; Willy's questionable mental status, and his tumultuous relationship with his sons.
Willy is apparently suffering from some sort of mental or emotional issues. These issues are causing him to conversations with his brother Ben, who has already passed away, and re-play past events in his mind. At times, Willy speaks aloud to his brother and even when re-living moments with Biff. Biff and Willy are obviously harboring ill feelings towards one another, but neither are willing to bring the reason into light. In Act II we discover Biff had discovered his father was having an extra-marital affair. Biff, already distraught over not graduating, was crushed. He idolized his father and could not believe he would do this to his mother. To spite his father, Biff did not finish school and Willy took this as spitting on him. Through the years the resentment grew to the point they had a non-existent relationship.
Willy's relationship with his sons is a contributing point to both the plot and characterization. It seems neither one has lived up to the dreams he has for them. I believe he wanted to live through them and actually have them fulfill his dreams for himself. Since his children were small he made them believe they were destined for grand things and were unstoppable. This possibly hindered the boys more than helped them. Happy mislead is family into thinking his job position was higher than is actually was, and Biff could not settle down and stick with a job.
Willy's fear of change and evolvement is evident in his resentment of the apartments and in his reaction to the recorder of Mr. Wagner's. He is also unable to come to terms with his own advancing years as a salesman. He only goes to Mr. Wagner to ask for a job strictly in New York when Linda insists. What he sees as valuable experience others see as obsolete. Willy longs for the days when the boys revered him and they were pals.
Scott Foll states the driving point of plot is conflict (1182). This play definitely has the ultimate conflict. That is simply, family. Conflict with Willy and Biff, Willy with himself, and Linda with her sons. For me the turning climactic point is when while talking with Ben, Willy believes he can regain what he lost years ago with Biff by ending his life. He thinks the twenty-thousand from the insurance money will fix it all. I suppose the resolution in this play was Willy's death. ...