The Death Of A Salesman Essay, Research Paper
Often times when we read literature, we can derive certain ideas or messages that the author of the work is trying to illustrate. After reading the play Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller, it is evident that he is trying to comment on our society . These comments on society being expressed are demonstrated in several examples throughout the play.
I think the idea that Miller is trying to get across to the audience is that, today’s society is filled with people who don’t get the credit they deserve for the “little things” they do in life. These people in society are like “unsung heroes” because the hard work they do might be overlooked. If others around you see that you are not living up to their expectations or their standards, they may put you down instead of giving you the credit you deserve. Other times we do not appreciate the “little things” that our loved ones do for us until it is too late. Usually these little things impact us the most.
In this play, I think the “unsung hero” is no doubt Willy Loman, an aging salesman, father, and husband to the Loman Family. For example in the play, Willy is getting old and his success in business is suddenly declining. His salary was even taken away, leaving him to depend only on commission. Because of this, his two sons Biff and Happy, along with others that knew him, constantly put him down for not always being on top, saying how he didn’t have any character, and that he was crazy. No one knew him at work anymore and no one showed Willy the respect he needed. Others looked down on him not realizing how exhausted he was trying to make a living just for his family. In reality, Willy would drive 700 miles to work and come home without even earning a cent. He had to borrow money from Charley just to provide food on the table so that he could provide a future for his sons. I think that Willy should’ve been acknowledged for that in itself but instead, his two sons never even took the time out to thank him for just going out everyday trying to make it in the world. Unfortunately, Biff and Happy could only fully realize this when Willy was at the end of his rope, secretly trying to kill himself. An example from the play that I think demonstrates this is when Linda (his wife) and the 2 sons are in the kitchen while Willy is outside vomiting. While they are in the kitchen, Linda is trying to persuade Biff and Happy to stop being lazy and get out and find a good job in business for their father’s sake. Linda tells them all about Willy and how he doesn’t get paid for the hard work he puts into his job, all for them. Linda then says ‘he put his whole life into you and you’ve turned your backs on him…’ . I think that statement representing Willy and his sons, really proves an example of how people in society will treat their loved ones as unsung heroes because they may not know how much the little things in life can affect us.
In conclusion, I think the author of this play, Arthur Miller, has commented on todays society by writing about an unsung hero like Willy Loman.