Death Of A Salesman Essay

821 WordsMar 27, 20094 Pages
The concept of family and identity is conveyed through themes, events and relationships explored in The Death of a Salesman. The text gives insight to the isolation, the superficiality and nature of appearances as well as the nature of love in relation to family and identity. The theme of allusion and reality is discussed as Miller explores the impact of Willy’s self deception and disillusionment has on his family. Willy holds great expectations for his son’s in particular Biff, and perceives them as idealized people, comparing them to mythic figures and legends “I thank the Almighty God you were built like Adonises”. Grim irony is created as Willy’s disillusionment regarding his sons are juxtaposed against the reality of life were the audience can clearly see two mid thirty dysfunctional males, were Happy is a womanizer, Biff a thief . This theme relates to the concept of family and identity as it explores how the values and beliefs of the parent are instilled into the child, and how those values and ideals shape the identity and character of that child. Biff and Happy seem to be doomed to failure by the beliefs Willy has defined for them for e.g.” I never got anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air”. Miller also discusses the notion of success and failure through a heightened sense of dramatic irony and intensity when the audience’s perception and anticipation differs significantly from that of the characters. For e.g. “ I’ll go get the advance, and ill come back with a New York Job” – “ he (Biff) could be anything in that suit no question. No question at all”. The certainty of the characters that there will be success is met with the uncertainty of the audience who see in the structural irony that they will never achieve any of those things which they desire. Willy is unique in the sense that he does not achieve the self realization or growth of a

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