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Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller – Death of the American Dream

October 29, 2015 - Posted to Custom Essay Services Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller – Death of the American Dream

Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller – Death of the American Dream

If ever there were a piece of literature that reflected the American Dream gone badly, it is Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman has all of the characteristics of a Shakespearian tragic hero – a man unable to find success and, in that despair, a man who descends into mental illness and suicide.

Any student in an American literature or drama course will find this play required reading, for it is Arthur Miller at his best in depicting the tragedy of an American family. You will no doubt also face at least one Death of a Salesman essay, and you will certainly have plenty of options.

Potential Death of a Salesman Essays

There are a couple of good possible essay topic that relate to the themes of the play. Consider the following:

  1. The American Dream is the concept that if you work hard, you will get ahead and earn enough money to have a comfortable life and support your family. Does Willy work hard? How do you know?
  2. Many national figures today state that the American Dream is gone for many Americans. Is this true? Why or why not?
  3. Another theme of the play is betrayal. In what way does Willy feel betrayed by Biff? In what ways does Biff feel betrayed by Willy?

There are also Death of a Salesman analysis essay topic on the three major characters – Willy, Biff, and Linda.

  1. Compare the character traits of Willy and Biff. Are they more alike or different?
  2. Why does Biff tell his father that they are both “a dime a dozen?” What does that reveal about Biff’s self-image?
  3. Why does Linda have a need to protect Willy from the realities of his failures?
  4. Would you characterize Linda as weak or strong? Why?
  5. Why do you think Willy continues to turn down Charley’s job offer?
  6. What is the purpose of Willy’s daydreams? Are these types of daydreams normal for most people, or is Miller using them to portray Willy descent into mental illness?

General Essay Topics

  1. Explore the name “Biff” in literature and film? What is the connotation of characters with the name “Biff?” Does Biff fill this usual connotation? Why or why not?
  2. Compare this play with the criteria for a classical essay? What criteria does it meet? Which criteria does it not meet?
  3. If you have read, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, compare the two plays relative to the concept of the American Dream?

If You Struggle

Death of a Salesman is not an easy play to read and analyze. Many students today find it dull, boring, and often outright depressing. They often do not want to take the time to produce a good essay on any topic related to the play. If you find yourself in this situation, you are welcome to come to us with the request, “Write my essay on Death of a Salesman for me.” We have many writers who are expert in American literature and who can select a topic for you or prepare an essay on a topic of your choosing.

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