Books and Movies Reviews

Death of a Salesman

In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, though appearing only briefly, the woman who Willy Loman has an affair with plays a crucial role in the events that take place throughout the play.Shefirst appears in a flashback more than three-fourths the way through the work, and yet plays the part of a turning point in Willy's life.However, in the few pages in which she appears, the woman ties together many loose ends of the play.
From the beginning of the play, the strain on the relationship between Willy Loman and his eldest son, Biff, is painfully obvious.Atfirst, the reader believes this is just one of those dysfunctional families; Biff is just one of those children who refuse to get along with their parents.Whereas his mother, Linda, and younger brother, Happy, spit out little white lies to console Willy, Biff is more than brutally honest.As the story progresses though, it becomes obvious that Biff is not being honest to just his father, he's the only one being honest with himself.In the Loman's house, the American Dream was drilled into the children's heads.Willy has taught his family that it is possible for their family to move up into a higher social echelon, that in years to come they would no longer be the lowly working class.The reader is left wondering why Biff doesn't share this same dream- from Willy's flashbacks, Biff was a good child.Though he performed poorly in school, being a football star made his father proud.
So what has happened between the end of high school and now that has made Biff so disillusioned?The answer comes nearly at the end of the book, during one of Willy's many flashbacks.The setting is suddenly a hotel room in Boston, where Willy is with a woman in just a slip.After failing math, and being unable to graduate, Biff runs to his father for support and help.It is shown that Biff used to be confident in his father.However, when the wom…

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