Death of a Salesman Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Does Willy Loman die a martyr? How do Linda’s and his children’ interpretations of his death vary?


    A strong response will note that Willy has a worthy conception of his suicide – he kills himself because he truly thinks that the insurance money will permit his sons to attain their destined success. However Miller does not provide the audience the easy fulfillment of seeing Willy’s plan come to fruition. It is extremely skeptical that the Lomans would really receive any insurance cash at all. He has a record of suicide attempts, and it would be near impossible to persuade the insurer that his death was a mishap.

    The essence of an essay need to be that Willy thinks he is martyring himself, however his martyrdom fails.

  2. 2

    Death of a Salesperson is among the foundational texts describing the American dream. How does Miller’s play vary from the more traditional Horatio Alger model? Is Miller extremely negative on the subject?


    Strong answers will contrast Miller’s pessimistic and cynical take on the concept of the American dream with its glorified Horatio Alger representations. Traditionally, the American dream implies that anyone can work his method up from the bottom of the ladder to the top. Miller’s work isn’t a lot a direct subversion of that dream as it is an expedition of the method which the presence of the American dream can destroy an individual’s expectations.

  3. 3

    Go over the concept of women’s stockings in Death of a Salesperson? What are Willy and Biff’s mindsets toward them? How do Linda and the female with whom Willy is having an affair regard them?


    To the ladies, stockings serve as a symbol of what Willy can supply and as a procedure of his success. To Willy, they are a symbol of his regret over the affair. To Biff, they are a sign of Willy’s fakeness and his betrayal of Linda. Each time the stockings appear, they serve each of these 3 functions for each character present.

  4. 4

    Describe the significance of names in this play. How do Pleased and Biff’s names contrast with or support their characters? Analyze the name “Loman.”


    Delighted – a kid’s name. As his name suggests, Pleased is someone who should be content – he works, a house, and a relentless stream of females – however he stays deeply dissatisfied.

    Ben – Willy’s bro is called after the scriptural figure Benjamin, which implies “one who is blessed.” The scriptural Benjamin far outstripped his bros in all areas, awakening their jealousy.

    Loman – Willy is a low-man. No terrific hero, he is already so low on the ladder that he has hardly anywhere to fall.

  5. 5

    What is the function of modernity in Death of a Salesman? Have automobiles and gas heating units fundamentally changed the American dream? How does Miller see these developments?


    The response must note that Willy is a man left behind by progress. His is an occupation that only operates in a small specific niche of time – he is dependent on the automobile and the highway system, however can’t endure the introduction of more sophisticated sales techniques than the door-to-door. He is shocked and puzzled by Howard’s gadgets, and wish for an outdoors life that involves producing things with his hands.

  6. 6

    Talk about the gender relationships in this play. Exist any favorable designs for an unified relationship? Does Miller find this principle possible?


    There are only 2 ladies of significance in the play, Linda and The Female, who does not even warrant a name. Pleased perfectly exposits the dichotomy in between the 2 kinds of females in the world, as represented by his idealized mother and by The Lady and Miss Forsythe. The mindset towards females that Willy designed for his boys was that women exist to be dominated – and as soon as they have actually been had, they are no longer deserving of respect.

  7. 7

    Evaluate the function of seeds in Act II’s final segment. What do they represent?


    Willy starts to consume over seeds as he realizes that he has nothing to pass on to his children. He hasn’t produced anything real, nothing physical that you can touch with your hand. However seeds are a financial investment in the future, something that is both concrete and grows with time, and that is what he wants to pass on to his children.

  8. 8

    Talk about examples of methods which Willy Loman’s suicide is foreshadowed in the first act of the play.


    Be sure to keep in mind that the concern isn’t actually whether Willy is going to pass away, however how. The conversation of Willy as suicidal is rather on the nose in the very first act, but what is left uncertain at that point is the how and the why. We are offered both the rubber hose and the cars and truck as possible modes of suicide, and general despair and desperation as motivations, however the supreme inspiration of insurance coverage money does not become a concern till the end of the play.

  9. 9

    Compare Death of a Salesperson to A Streetcar Called Desire. How do Willy Loman and Blanche Dubois each represent an essential element of the American drive towards development and success?


    Willy and Blanche are both victims of modernity. Willy can not contend versus the boys in the modern-day organisation world. And Blanche can not adjust to the coarseness of life in the brand-new South. Instead of adjusting, both characters come down deeper into their idea of the idealized past, up until they lose hang on reality completely.

  10. 10

    Compare Death of a Salesman and The Fantastic Gatsby. How do Willy Loman and Jay Gatsby suffer a similar fate?

    Answer: Although they lived extremely various lives – Willy, objectively a failure, and Gatsby, objectively a success – Willy and Gatsby had similar failures. Both were captured up in the illusion of the American dream, fervently thinking that they might and ought to reach for the stars. However after a lifetime of having relied on personality to manage, the men found themselves extremely alone, even in death.

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