Character Analysis Relates to Theme in Drama

CharacterAnalysis Relates to Theme in Drama

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HowCharacter Analysis Relates to Theme in Death of a Salesman

Thedeath of a sales man by Arthur Miller is a paradox of being alive ina technological society, showing the sense of isolation brought aboutby technological inventions and the price people have to pay morethan often for progress (Hooti and Shooshtarian, 2010). Thus, theauthor gives his audience a tale of violence within the family,showcasing individual suppression by placing his characters beneaththe overbearing needs of a capitalist society. Therefore, the essayattempts to show the story of all human beings in such of success,pride, love, and have an ambition but they are isolated between themodern and postmodernism values through the character analysis in theplay of Willy Loman and his sons. According to a study there is amodern man entrapped who finds the postmodern language and way oflife wired and its values to be resisting forces against hisdevelopment.

Abandonmentand Displacement

Throughthe character of Willy, the play write is able to bring out the themeof alienation towards time and place (Moseley,2009).Willy is a man of his time and yet also somehow timeless. He has thecapacity to enjoy life but he is dissatisfied with the capacity toenjoy life, a dissatisfaction that lead him to feel isolated. Thus,Willy creates an illusion to protect himself and prevent him fromaddressing the real problems that exist. Will kills his loneliness ina Boston hotel with a woman whose attraction seem to lie less in hersexuality, a consolation she offers for his sense of failure. In aconversation between Willy and the woman, she tells Willy: “Why notyou have another drink, honey, and stop being so damn self-centered?”Willy just, answers, “I’m so lonely” and women says, “Youknow you ruined me, Willy” (Miller, 1998:91). Through Willyloneliness character we can tell he is displaced and abandoned. Thistheme is relevant to the modern day audience as they may bestruggling in life either lonely or feeling they do not fit in thesociety (John, 2008).

TheAmerican Dream

“Andwhen I saw that, I realized that selling was the greatest career aman could want. ’Cause what could be more satisfying than to beable to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirtydifferent cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and lovedand helped by so many different people?” (Miller, Act II). Throughthe ignorant character of Willy who fails to realize the Americandream come with a struggle and not with ease. His ignorance hindershim from envisioning the human side Singleman who still worked thatwas still working at 84, and might have had the same financialdifficulties as him (Ben ND). This theme remains relevant to theaudience today who dream of achieving with struggling for it. Thus,it educates the audience that nothing comes easily (Ben-Ari and Rowe,2009).


Accordingto Biff, Willy is a “pony little fake” (Miller, 1998, Act II),Biff who is realistic is able to reveal that Willy betrays hi withunending stream of ego-stroking lies. In addition, the theme ofbetrayal is brought out by Willy’s obsession in what he considersBiff’s betrayal of his ambitions for him (Butler, 2002). Therefusal of Biff to embrace his father’s dream helps develop thetheme of conflict in the play. Biff and Willy view the worlddifferently, and Biff view his father to be standing between himselfand his life (Miller, 1998). This theme is relevant to the audiencein the modern day who are obsessed with making decisions for others,one should guide, however, not take life decisions for people.


Fromthe analysis of the dram we can tell the problem in death of asalesman, which also reflects our societies, is the inability ofhumans to accept the changed reality and develop new attitudes thatsuit one’s changed circumstances in life. It is the struggle to besucceed we end up being masked in what we are not ending up beingisolated from our own lives.


Ben-Ari,D., &amp Rowe, M. (2009). Deathof A Salesman. SanFrancisco: McMillan.

Butler,Christopher. (2002). Postmodernism.London:OxfordUniversity Press.

Hooti,N. and Shooshtarian, S. (2010). Studiesin Literature and Language 1(7).

John,D. (2008). Death of a salesman. New York: PublicationsOboulo. com.

Miller,Arthur. (1998). Deathof a Salesman:CertainPrivate Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem.New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.

Moseley,M. (2009). Death of a Salesman. TheAmerican Dream47 (3).