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Intertwined Works Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller And American Beauty By Sam Mendez

1099 words - 5 pages

Written in 1949 the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller takes the reader to the post war era in America. Here, Miller tells the story of the Lomans. Willy Loman is a sixty-year old traveling salesman. He has worked for thirty-five years to get his salary cut and put on commission, but he chooses to keep his low wage job, even though his neighbor Charley offered him a salary job. Willy suffers from self-inflicted hallucinations about his eldest son Biff Loman and his elder brother Ben, which ultimately leads to his death. Biff Loman is the eldest of the two sons. Biff is thirty-four years old, and he doesn’t have a job. Biff was the star player on his high school football team, but due ...view middle of the document...

Carolyn Burnham is shown to be enveloped in her real estate job. She struggles to sell houses, and literally has a meltdown, which leads to her affair with real estate competitor Buddy Kane. Jane is a cheerleader at her high school, and the viewer meets her best friend Angela Hayes. Jane is seen as Angela’s follower, but as soon as she meets Ricky Fitts she breaks free of Angela. Angela is a very narcissistic person. She fears being ordinary and forgettable, which is ironic because that is what Jane calls her at the end of the movie.
The works of literature Death of a Salesman and “American Beauty” are intertwined because the protagonist in each work are contraries. Willy Loman and Lester Burnham are inverses because Willy has regrets and bases his success on his job, while Lester has dreams and bases his success on happiness.
Having Willy base his success off of his job was a weakness because he became obsessed with money. Willy saw that the only way to be successful was by becoming rich, which is probably why Ben saying “When I walked out of the jungle I was 21. And, by God I was rich” (49) haunted him. Willy shows that he is not happy with his lack of income even though he has a family, wife, and his mortgage is almost paid off. Having Willy see his regrets through flashbacks is a strength because the reader can see he has remorse for his actions. For instance, when Willy met Bernard at Charley’s office, he saw how well he was doing in his job, but the fact that Charley “…never told him what to do…You never took any interest in him” bothered him because he knew he took too much interest in his son Biff (95). The reader can imply that Willy may regret his involvement because Bernard is more successful than both of his sons put together. If I could have advised the directors for a better work I would have told them to make Willy have an epiphany in the last scene, so he can realize how rich he really was.
Having Lester base his success off of happiness was a...

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