BEYOND THE OBVIOUS:

Length: 6 Pages 1571 Words

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 f Continue...


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The main symbol that deeply effected Willy was the stockings. Willy's lack of control is also symbolized by the tape recorder in Howard's office. Biff follows his father's example as he tries to steal his way to the top instead of working for it. only a little boat looking for a harbour. 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. After accidentally starting the tape recorder, Willy was incapable of turning it off and had to yell for Howard to shut it off for him. Willy knew that he could not grow a thing in the back yard yet he made one final attempt to plant seeds. Happy told lies to the waiter when he asked the waiter for a certain recipe, "Stanley, do you remember that recipe I brought you from overseas The one with the champagne in it(99) Happy used the recipe as a symbol to give him the illusion of wealth and worldliness. There were stocking that he bought for his mistress and ones that he saw his wife mending. ------------------------------------------------------------------------BibliographyMiller, Arthur. Lastly, Willy's strategy for success was projected onto his sons. As a teenager, Happy tried to tear Willy's attention away from Biff by repeatedly saying, "I'm losing weight, you notice, Pop(33) When Happy had grown older he still searched for acceptance and he showed an ambiguity of character at the restaurant.

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