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Success in "death of a Salesman"

Essay by   •  December 25, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,104 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,123 Views

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In "Death of a Salesman," we can see that the protagonist, Willy Loman, who thinks that one person's success is to rise out of poverty and become rich and famous. "...was rich! That's just the spirit I want to imbue them with!"(Arthur Miller, 205) "Ben. It's who you know and the smile on your face! It's contacts, Ben, contacts!" (Arthur Miller, 245) In this play, we can see that Willy never accomplish the success that he desperate to attain. "He drives seven hundred mile, and when he gets there no one knows him any more... driving seven hundred miles home without having earned a cent" (Arthur Miller, 211). In contrast to Willy's failure, this play has the other successful characters who achieve the goals that Willy so called success. Therefore, this essay is going to use three characters' successes in "Death of a Salesman" to point out how Willy goes to the way of failure.

The first successful character is the salesman, Dave Singleman. Unlike Willy's career of a salesman that "...driving seven hundred miles home without having earned a cent" (Arthur Miller, 211), we can see Dave's success from that "And old Dave, he'd go up to his room, y'understand, put on his green velvet slippers... and pick up his phone and call the buyers and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, he made his living" (Arthur Miller, 239).

Moreover, when old Dave died, his funeral is full of people that show he is famous and respected. "...hundreds of salesmen and buyers were at his funeral. Things were sad on a lotta trains for months after that" (Arthur Miller, 239). However, Willy's funeral has no other people but family and the best friend. "Why didn't anybody come? ... But where are all the people he knew?" (Arthur Miller, 309) Being a salesman, Dave is a successful to be honored and earn a lot of money. To Willy, a successful salesman should be like Dave "And when I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want" (Arthur Miller, 239). Nevertheless, Willy's funeral shows that his failure of the career of the salesman.

The second successful character is Ben, Willy's old brother who is rich and has ambition to become somebody. "When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich." (Arthur Miller, 200). To Willy, Ben is the symbol of success "There was the only man I ever met who knew the answers" (Arthur Miller, 197).

Moreover, Ben's success reminds Willy's failure. When Ben went to the Africa, he found "Diamond mines!" (Arthur Miller, 199) This discover made Ben became a rich man ever since. On the other hand, understanding that Alaska has "tremendous" opportunities, Willy doesn't go to fulfill his dream "to walk into a jungle" (Arthur Miller, 205). In contrast to Ben's doing by action, Willy seems to only can draw the beautiful but unreal picture. "If I'd gone with him to Alaska that time, everything would've been totally different" (Arthur Miller, 197). From this example, we can see that Willy lacks of the brave to achieve his dream.

The third successful character is Bernard, the son of Willy's



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