74 pages 2 hours read

Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1949

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Essay Topics


Arthur Miller’s narrative technique is critical in portraying both Willy’s mental state and his skewed perception of reality. When unable to face the current reality, Willy recreates his memories to help him come to terms with his current mental state and maintain his hopes for the future. How does the fluidity of time impact the audience’s understanding of the plot, character development, and the story’s main themes?


Despite Willy’s religious dedication to the American Dream, his longing for nature and life outdoors is heavily implied in his regret at not taking Ben’s offer to go to Alaska. It is clear that the Loman men long for the outdoors and are not suited to life in the business world. How does each of the Loman men respond to their natural inclination to the outdoors? Why does each Loman choose the paths that they do? What implications do these choices have on their lives?


The fractured relationships between the Loman fathers and sons significantly impact their lives. While Willy’s father abandons him, Willy himself betrays his family despite working to provide them with the American Dream’s idea of success. How do the choices of each father impact their sons’ interpretations of success? How do Willy and Biff perceive their respective fathers and why?