Death of a Salesman

Title: Death of a Salesman

Author: Arthur Miller

Characters:

  • Willy Loman: Traveling salesman slightly senile with old age, often in his own world during the play. Perpetually unhappy, regretful, lost
  • Linda Loman: Willy’s wife, worried about Willy’s wellbeing.
  • Biff Loman: Eldest son, once football star but failed highschool graduate which has affected his life thus far (can’t hold a job). Does not live up to Willy’s expectations
  • Happy Loman: Younger son, more confidence than Biff, especially with women; Self important
  • Ben Loman: Willy’s (recently dead) older brother; wealthy
  • Charley: Loman’s next door neighbor, gives Willy money to pay bills
  • Bernard: Charley’s son; admirer of Happy and Biff, yet becomes more successful
  • The Woman: Willy’s mistress when Biff and Happy are in highschool
  • Howard Wagner: Willy’s boss; eventually fires him

Motifs, Themes, Symbols:

  • Abandonment
  • Success/American Dream
  • Sanity
  • Betrayal (e.g. Willy sees Biff)
  • Freedom/Entrapment
  • Social/Gender Class
  • Image
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