Things are not always as they appear. At times many things are found to have deeper meaning. Arthur Miller displays his elusive technique as symbolism in Death of a Salesman. In this play, the author uses symbolism to establish the themes of pride and success. Furthermore, symbols are used to develop the characters of Willy, Biff and Happy.
The themes of pride and success are achieved by symbols used in Arthur Miller’s play. First of all, pride is shown when Willy refused to accept a recurring job offer from Charley. Charley asked Willy, “. . . What the hell is goin’ on in your head? . . . I offered you a job.” (Miller, 96) Willy would accept money from Charley, but would not lower himself to work for him. Charley ends up having a successful son and a good business. Even though Willy depended on Charley for income, he continually insulted him and refused a job. Willy’s sons were a source of false pride for him. He would not admit to Howard that Biff and Happy were not dependable and that he could not go to them for assistance. Moreover, Howard pointed out Willy’s false pride. When Willy said that his boys were “. . . working on a very big deal.” (83) Howard replied by saying, “This is no time for false pride, Willy,” (83) Not only was Willy unable to discard his pride in times of need but he was also un!
able to give up his dreams of becoming a success.
The theme of success is symbolized throughout the play by Willy’s brother, Ben, Willy’s idol, Dave Singleman and in the way Willy projects success onto his sons. Firstly, Ben gave evidence that he was always successful by the way he talked and the way he dressed. The jungle was also a symbol of his success. There is evidence of this when Ben said, “When I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen. When I walked out I was twenty-one. And by God, I was rich!” (52) Ben also told Willy that in the jungle it is “dark there, but full of diamond...