Books and Movies Reviews

Death of a Salesman

Analysis of the Character Ben and the Development of Willy Loman
Arthur Miller’s (1915-present) character Ben in Death Of A Salesman helps the development of the main character Willy.Ben is used as somewhat of a mentor for Willy; Ben is everything that Willy wants to be in life.We can see who Willy is by exploring who Ben is.Ben’s morals and actions are everything that Willy believes in and wishes for himself and his sons.When we understand who Ben is, we can see the theme of the book appear, that is, you cannot let yourself get caught up in the “American Dream.”Ben only appears three times in the entire play,first in a flashback, second in a quasi-flashback where Willy has inserted him into a scenario that actually happened, and finally in a complete hallucination.When we compare and analyze each of these occurrences, it gives us the chance to see who Willy Loman really is.This is Miller’s main purpose for Ben in this play; he is a utensil that allows us to understand what Willy Loman is thinking.
Arthur Miller was born the second of three children to Isidore and Augusta Miller in October of 1915.Miller was born in Harlem, which at that time was an “…elegant, mixed neighbourhood…”(BBC Education) but later had to move to Brooklyn for financial reasons.Miller attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1934 and studied journalism and drama.Miller has won various awards for his writings including the Theatre Guild Bureau of New Plays Prize and he even earned a Pulitzer.Miller continues to write to this day and is quoted as saying, “”I couldn’t retire. It would be like cutting my heart out. Why would I do that?”(BBC Education).
Benfirst appears in this play as a flashback in Willy’s mind.Willy is feeling bad about his present situation and the flashback is meant to interrupt this feeling.Willy has returned home from a selling trip, unable to concentrate, and unable to keep his mind…

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