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Tell me what you think of my essay. It is about Death of a Salesman and I explore the themes of "the American Dream","abandonment", and "betrayal". The essay is supposed to focus on the relationship of the themes with Willy Loman.


There are many themes in Arthur Miller’s dramatic play Death of a Salesman. The main themes in this tragic story are the American Dream, abandonment, and betrayal. These themes affect the main characters of the play very greatly. The character that is affected the most by these themes is Willy Loman, the protagonist of this play. In the end, the beliefs of Willy Loman by these themes ultimately affect his life to the point that they lead to the end of his life.

Willy Loman is a sixty year old salesman who is pasted his prime as a salesman. He lives with his wife, Linda and his two sons, Biff and Happy. Willy’s life has been full of failures and disappointments. His life is in a lot of disarray due to his unwillingness to change his ways in an ever changing world. Willy refuses to change and take risks due to his beliefs in an ideal called The American Dream.

Generally speaking, The American Dream is " A term originally used to define the aspiration peculiar to Americans in both life and fiction: to rise above one’s situation at birth, to live self-sufficiently without financial worries, and to own land"(Werlock). It was this ideal that drove Willy to be the best throughout his lifetime. Arthur Miller shows us through Willy that The American Dream ideal can be a dangerous thing to people as Miller himself was totally against the concept. Miller’s life lead him to believe that the American Dream was a wrong ideal here,
"Arthur Asher Miller was born in New York City into comfortable circumstances; however, in 1929 his father's garment manufacturing business failed, and the Millers eventually lost their home. Miller's experiences as a young person during the depression shaped his ideology. His sympathy for the individual faced with circumstances beyond her or his control stems from this early period. Witnessing the collapse of an economy based on capitalism led him to favor socialism."
(Bryer and Hartig).
Miller ultimately wanted to warn people that the American Dream can lead to tragic events such as the one the befell Willy Loman and his family.
Another theme that had a huge part in shaping Willy Loman is the issue of abandonment.

Willy was abandoned at a young age by his father as explained by his only memory of him, "All I remember is a man with a big beard, and I was in Mamma’s lap, sitting around a fire, and some kind of high music "(Miller 1270). Willy’s father absence had a great impact on his life as there is no fatherly figure to guide him and with no one to guide him, Willy becomes lost in his own thoughts of delusion and warped sense of values. Willy is also abandoned by his brother Ben who leaves him in order to peruse his own riches. These two incidents of abandonment really shake Willy up and these events start up his fragile mind set which will become worst as time goes on.
Lastly,.the theme that has a great impact on Willy’s tragic life is betrayal which is key in not only bringing Willy down but bringing Biff down as well.

Willy and Biff’s lives go downhill after Willy is caught by Biff have an affair with another woman in a hotel room. At the moment, Biff feels betrayed by Willy because he betrayed their whole family with his actions and everything that Willy has told Biff comes out to be nothing more than lies to him. Willy never recovers from that moment with Biff as his life turns into a spiraling abyss of lost dreams and illusions that ultimately drain Willy of his mental state while Biff just wonders around not becoming much at all in order to get back at his father. Willy’s betrayal of his wife and his sons closes the final opportunity for Willy to be successful in life and starts his and his sons’ paths to no success.

Furthermore, Willy Loman under the influence of these three themes becomes the person that he is in the play and his actions are ultimately determined by these ideologies that have warped his mind to the point that Willy can no longer live with himself. The thoughts and dreams of being great have led Willy to very few accomplishments in his life as explained here, "Miller's emphasis on the refrigerator in the kitchen and a silver athletic trophy above Willy's bed represent the only achievements in Willy's life—a few basic luxuries for the house and a fleeting, winning moment from his family's past"(Abbotson). The fact that Willy has little to show for all his years of hard work shows that he has been going for the American Dream which is going big and unrealistic instead of going small and realistic. Being abandoned at such a young age by his father has made him give in to false beliefs because Willy is looking for something to guide him through life as no one guided him when he was young. The betrayal of his family when he commits adultery leads him down a path where he loses his oldest son’s trust in him and mark the beginning of the end for Willy.

In addition, Stage directions and visual elements of the play also play a big part in developing the thematic issues that are explored in the play. One example would be Willy pausing or breaking off at times when he speaks which represents how Willy is no longer as mentally sharp as he used to be. Another example is that the music in the play sets the mood as it can be nostalgic at times and filled with promise when the story goes to flashbacks yet in other times, the music is raw and sensuous whenever the woman that Willy is having an affair with appears. The visual elements in the play show how times have changed and how The American Dream is no visible in the Loman’s household by The Red Chevy that Willy owned in the flashbacks that showed that the family for a time was well off, however all the items that the Lomans have to repair in the present state show that the family is not well off any more. The setting of the play is really important in showing how far the Lomans have fallen as everything now seems to be broken and melancholy around their home.

Moreover, the thematic issues in the play build up as they let you look deeper and deeper inside of the person of Willy Loman. Everything build us until the main climax of the story which is when Biff sees Willy cheating with the woman and that made Biff lose complete faith in his father and it only ends when Biff comforts his father and tells him who he really is in this statement, "Pop, I’m nothing! I’m nothing, Pop. Can’t you understand that? There’s no spite in it any more. I’m just what I am, that’s all."(Miller 1316). This moment leads up to the resolution where Willy goes into his car and crashes it in order to kill himself to give his family insurance money. Afterwards, Willy’s funeral wraps things up as the characters begin to deal with Willy’s death. The thematic issues that Willy had battled had finally caught up to him.

In conclusion, the ideas that Willy was searching for were not the best ones. The issues of The American Dream, betrayal and abandonment all took their toll on Willy Loman. However, he was just one man trying to search for something to lead him to a better place in an unforgiving world. He had no guidance and had to fend on his own in order to get a suitable living and that was one of the few things that he ever accomplished in his life. Hopefully, Willy’s story will show us that it is best not to focus all our life into faulty ideals and beliefs.
 

winner

Senior Member
Interesting. I would review what you've said, making the story more organized. I mean you write about things in one paragraph and then say similar things way down in another paragraph. Try to keep your topics together and then move onto the next point. Check your spelling 'passed, not pasted; pursue, not persue, etc'. When you say he pauses in talking does not always mean a not-so-sharp mind. To me it is a sign of a man who has been frightened and intimidated by life and has become very cautious with what he says, taking time to think of what he is going to say and speaking his words carefully.

One more thing. I am currently writing a book about 'discrimination within the system.' One of my chapters is titled 'The American Dream - A Privilege or a Crime." I'd be very interested in knowing where you found your term for The 'American Dream'. Please let me know. :)

Winner
 
Tell me what you think of my essay. It is about Death of a Salesman and I explore the themes of "the American Dream","abandonment", and "betrayal". The essay is supposed to focus on the relationship of the themes with Willy Loman.


There are many themes in Arthur Miller’s dramatic play Death of a Salesman. The main themes in this tragic story are (Here I'd scratch all the words previous for something more concise, without the needless repetition, like: Principally, they are... the American Dream, abandonment, and betrayal. These themes affect the main characters of the play very greatly. The character that is affected the most ("that is most affected" -- again, practice being concise) by these themes is Willy Loman, the protagonist of this play. In the end, the beliefs of Willy Loman by these themes ultimately affect his life to the point that they lead to the end of his life.
This last sentence really needs work. It twists itself into confusing knots and ultimately makes very little sense -- which is not so great, considering it's the thesis. You need to tighten up all these sentences, get rid of your repetitive use of the word "themes" -- which, if you look at my highlighting, appears in every sentence -- and generally try to clean this first paragraph of all the needless crap filling it.
The section of the last sentence in italics really, really needs work. It communicates, but it's extremely poor english. Am I right in believing you meant: "Willy Loman's belief in these themes" ? Or is it "Willy Loman's belief through these themes" ? Please clarify.


Willy Loman is a sixty year-old salesman who is passed his prime as a salesman. (Again, concision! Here you may simply say: Willy Loman is a sixty year-old salesman passed his prime.) He lives with his wife, Linda and his two sons, Biff and Happy. Willy’s life has been full of failures and disappointments. His life is in a lot of disarray due to his unwillingness to change his ways in an ever changing world. Willy refuses to change and take risks due to his beliefs in an ideal called The American Dream.
Sentence variation is hugely important. Don't start each one the same way, as here you have -- either with the character's name or "He."

Generally speaking, The American Dream is " A term originally used to define the aspiration peculiar to Americans in both life and fiction: to rise above one’s situation at birth, to live self-sufficiently without financial worries, and to own land"(Werlock). It was this ideal that drove Willy to be the best throughout his lifetime. Arthur Miller shows us through Willy that The American Dream ideal can be a dangerous thing to people as Miller himself was totally against the concept. Miller’s life lead him to believe that the American Dream was a wrong ideal here,
"Arthur Asher Miller was born in New York City into comfortable circumstances; however, in 1929 his father's garment manufacturing business failed, and the Millers eventually lost their home. Miller's experiences as a young person during the depression shaped his ideology. His sympathy for the individual faced with circumstances beyond her or his control stems from this early period. Witnessing the collapse of an economy based on capitalism led him to favor socialism."
(Bryer and Hartig).
Miller ultimately wanted to warn people that erican Dream can lead to tragic events such as the one the befell Willy Lomanand his family.
Another theme that had a huge part in shaping Willy Loman is the issue of abandonment.
Before "that," in the first sentence, interject "belief in"


Willy was abandoned at a young age by his father as explained by his only memory of him, "All I remember is a man with a big beard, and I was in Mamma’s lap, sitting around a fire, and some kind of high music "(Miller 1270). Willy’s father absence had a great impact on his life as there is no fatherly figure to guide him and with no one to guide him, Willy becomes lost in his own thoughts of delusion and warped sense of values. Willy is also abandoned by his brother Ben who leaves him in order to peruse his own riches. These two incidents of abandonment really shake Willy up and these events start up his fragile mindset which will become worseas time goes on.
Lastly,.the theme that has a great impact on Willy’s tragic life is betrayal which is key in not only bringing Willy down but bringing Biff down as well.

Willy and Biff’s lives go downhill after Willy is caught by Biff have an affair with another woman in a hotel room. At the moment, Biff feels betrayed by Willy because he betrayed their whole family with his actions and everything that Willy has told Biff comes out to be nothing more than lies to him. Willy never recovers from that moment with Biff as his life turns into a spiraling abyss of lost dreams and illusions that ultimately drain Willy of his mental state while Biff just wonders around not becoming much at all in order to get back at his father. Willy’s betrayal of his wife and his sons closes the final opportunity for Willy to be successful in life and starts his and his sons’ paths to no success.

Furthermore, Willy Loman under the influence of these three themes becomes the person that he is in the play and his actions are ultimately determined by these ideologies that have warped his mind to the point that Willy can no longer live with himself. The thoughts and dreams of being great have led Willy to very few accomplishments in his life as explained here, "Miller's emphasis on the refrigerator in the kitchen and a silver athletic trophy above Willy's bed represent the only achievements in Willy's life—a few basic luxuries for the house and a fleeting, winning moment from his family's past"(Abbotson). The fact that Willy has little to show for all his years of hard work shows that he has been going for the American Dream which is going big and unrealistic instead of going small and realistic. Being abandoned at such a young age by his father has made him give in to false beliefs because Willy is looking for something to guide him through life as no one guided him when he was young. The betrayal of his family when he commits adultery leads him down a path where he loses his oldest son’s trust in him and mark the beginning of the end for Willy.

In addition, Stage directions and visual elements of the play also play a big part in developing the thematic issues that are explored in the play. One example would be Willy pausing or breaking off at times when he speaks which represents how Willy is no longer as mentally sharp as he used to be. Another example is that the music in the play sets the mood as it can be nostalgic at times and filled with promise when the story goes to flashbacks yet in other times, the music is raw and sensuous whenever the woman that Willy is having an affair with appears. The visual elements in the play show how times have changed and how The American Dream is no visible in the Loman’s household by The Red Chevy that Willy owned in the flashbacks that showed that the family for a time was well off, however all the items that the Lomans have to repair in the present state show that the family is not well off any more. The setting of the play is really important in showing how far the Lomans have fallen as everything now seems to be broken and melancholy around their home.

Moreover, the thematic issues in the play build up as they let you look deeper and deeper inside of the person of Willy Loman. Everything build us until the main climax of the story which is when Biff sees Willy cheating with the woman and that made Biff lose complete faith in his father and it only ends when Biff comforts his father and tells him who he really is in this statement, "Pop, I’m nothing! I’m nothing, Pop. Can’t you understand that? There’s no spite in it any more. I’m just what I am, that’s all."(Miller 1316). This moment leads up to the resolution where Willy goes into his car and crashes it in order to kill himself to give his family insurance money. Afterwards, Willy’s funeral wraps things up as the characters begin to deal with Willy’s death. The thematic issues that Willy had battled had finally caught up to him.
Run on.

In conclusion, the ideas that Willy was searching for were not the best ones. The issues of The American Dream, betrayal and abandonment all took their toll on Willy Loman. However, he was just one man trying to search for something to lead him to a better place in an unforgiving world. He had no guidance and had to fend on his own in order to get a suitable living and that was one of the few things that he ever accomplished in his life. Hopefully, Willy’s story will show us that it is best not to focus all our life into faulty ideals and beliefs.

Alright. You've got a fairly coherent point, and quite a good idea -- but terrible delivery. It lacks grammer, structure, variation, and accurate sentence formation. I came away from this feeling as though you had written in very quickly and messily. But, the world is not ending -- this just needs work, and alot of your time. Take into account some of the points I made, but also read it several times. Read it aloud and decide if YOU think it sounds ok... cause believe me, when you read some of this shit aloud and hear it, it won't sound good to you. So get editing, and post it up when you're done.
 

JohnN

Senior Member
Ive never read death of a salesman, its one of those books always on my to do list. Good luck with the essay.
 
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