Biblical Allusions in American Literature: Betrayal

One of the most pervasive biblical allusions in The Death of the Salesman is betrayal. Arthur Miller’s popular play entails the disloyalty of Willy towards his family, where his unfaithful affair creates a scarring dent in Biff’s trust and his love for Linda. In the 14th chapter of Marks gospel, Jesus was consumed with doubt and anguish at the Garden of Gethsemane as he prophesied his disciple’s betrayal.

Jesus praying in Gethsemane

Jesus praying in Gethsemane

Likewise, Willy’s accusation that Biff is spiteful, as his own son has betrayed him. Biff’s failure in business brings out the dismissal of Willy’s own American Dream of success. Since Biff refuses to inherit his father’s career ultimately refers to Willy’s failure on his job (when Howard fired him). Accusing Biff of betrayal, Willy assumes that Biff’s denial originated from Biff’s discovery of Willy’s affair with The Woman; thus, Biff indicts his father as a “phony little fake” who betrayed his family with his egotistic lies.

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One Response to Biblical Allusions in American Literature: Betrayal

  1. bsullivan35 says:

    Can you please enter your category for this post.

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