Themes in the play “Death of Salesman” by MillerI think that the play, “Death of a Salesman by Miller” is used in addressing the loss of identity and the inability of the man in addressing changes which have taken place within the society and himself. In my opinion, the play seems to be a mixture of visions, recalls, confrontations, and urgings which made the last twenty-four hours of the life of Willy Loman. Literary devices like themes have been used in the play the Death of Salesman by the Miller which seems to describe the characters and the real-life situation as shown in the play. The main themes in the play can said to be denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder (Miller pg.156). The paper will discuss the themes in the play Death of Salesman by Miller.In my opinion, denial is the main theme in the play Death of Salesman by the Miller. It seems like everyone in the family of the Loman, lives in a denial or he or she is involved in the perpetuating of the cycle of denial for the others. For example, Willy Loman said he is incapable of accommodating the truth that he is an ordinary salesman. He is, therefore, striving for his revelation of the American fantasy which is of victory and notoriety. He has been involved in denying the reality so as to lead him in achieving his dream.
He has failed in acknowledging that he is not successful where he has retreated to the past memories and events where he was said to be successful. For example, the favorite memory for the Willy is about the last game of his son Biff since during that time Biff tried to make a touchdown for his father. During this scene, Willy is eagerly waiting for his buyers so that he can tell them. He has been involved in considering himself famous just because of the pride of his son towards him. His son such as Biff and happy have been involved in adopting the habits of his father where they manipulate or deny their reality and practice in their lives (Miller pg.156). The character who has recognized that the family of the Willy lives in a denial is Linda but she acknowledges the fantasies of Willy so as to with the aim of preserving his fragile mental state.In addition, contradiction is another theme which has been demonstrated by the characters in the play.
The behavior of the Willy throughout the play is full of inconsistencies. His inconsistency is the only thing which is consistent. Willy argues that his son Biff is a lazy bum but later in the play, he argues that he is such hard worker. The contradiction of the Willy has been involved in confusing the audiences at the beginning of the play which later became a trademark concerning his character. The inconsistency which is realized in the character of the Willy is as a result of him being incapable of accepting reality and his tendency of manipulating the past so as to escape the present. For instance, Willy is not resigning to himself that his son Biff does not respect him because of the affairs the Willy had. Rather than admitting that, he is involved in retreating the previous time where he was admired and respected by his son Biff (Laurence pg. 1225). In the continuation of the play, Willy is involved in disassociating himself with his present problems which became numerous to be dealt with. Moreover, there is the theme of the order versus disorder which has resulted from Willy’s retreatment into the past.
Every time Willy is involved in looking at the past in order to deny the present where it seems that the present has become hard to accept. Willy has been involved in spending more of his time in the past so as to reestablish order in his life. When their occurrences of the fragmented and disastrous reality, Willy is involved in creating the alternative reality. After Willy losing his job, Ben offered him a job and he was turned down since Willy had a thought that he will become successful like the single man (Widell pg. 200). These scenarios show the theme of order versus disorder where Willy tries to make disorders in the present orderly by considering the past.It seems that abandonment has been demonstrated by the characters as a theme in the play Death of Salesman by the Miller. For instance, the life of the Willy has been involved in charting the course from one abandonment to the other where he is left in the great despair each time. His father had left him with Ben at the time when Willy was very young where he was left with neither tangible nor intangible legacy.
Eventually, Ben departed to the Alaska where he left Willy to lose himself in in one of his wrapped vision of the American dream. Because of such past experiences, Willy has been involved in fearing the abandonment where he wants his family to been in conformity with the American dream. The efforts by the Willy to raise the children which are perfect has depicted his inability in understanding the reality of the life. Willy has been abandoned by his son Biff, after Biff realizing that his father has an adultery affair. He stops to respect his father and there is no unity between them (Laurence pg. 1225). This abandonment makes the life of the Willy to be in disastrous experience every time.Finally, there is the theme of the betrayal in the play the Death Salesman by Miller. Biff has betrayed the ambitions of his father in him. Willy has been believing that he has the right of expecting Biff to fulfill his promises that he made over him. The betrayal occurred when Biff moved out of the ambitions of his father. Biff failed the ambitions of his father where he did not achieve the American dream which his father planed for him (Miller pg.156). Willy was then involved in the assumption that the betrayal of the Biff was caused by the affair between Willy and Linda. In conclusion, the play of the Death of Salesman by Miller has demonstrated some of the themes which have described the characters and the real-life situation.
The themes have been used in addressing the Willy Loman who was incapable of addressing the changes in his life and the society. Such themes include; the denial in the family, abandonment, order versus disorder, betrayal, and contradiction. The characters who have been described are Willy Loman, his son Biff, Linda and Ben. It is therefore important for the readers to put the themes in the consideration when addressing the changes in the society and themselves.