Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Contrast Willy's funeral with that of Dave Singleman in Death of a Salesman.

Willy Loman's funeral in Death of a Salesman is small and depressing, especially in comparison to Dave Singleman's. The only people who attend Willy's funeral are his immediate family members and his next-door neighbor Charley. Biff and Happy seem to resent Willy, while Charlie pities him. Linda is even disheartened by the small turnout and wonders why no one showed up. In contrast, hundreds of salesmen and buyers attended Dave Singleman's funeral, which reflects his success and magnetic personality.

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The contrast between Willy Loman's and Dave Singelman's funerals really couldn't be greater. Whereas Willy's sendoff is a truly sad, pathetic affair with only his immediate family and Charley in attendance, Dave's funeral attracts dozens of mourners. The reason for the disparity isn't hard to spot. Dave Singleman was a hotshot salesman, a legend in the business. He achieved what for Willy Loman is the greatest goal in life: to be a well-liked man. And because he was a well-liked man, hundreds of work colleagues and friends turned up for his funeral to pay their last respects.

Though Willy always wanted to be a well-liked man, it's fair to say that he never achieve his goal. How else to account for the lamentably sparse attendance at his funeral? The sad truth is that Willy was a dinosaur in the world of sales, a man out of time unable to keep up with rapid changes in the business. As a result, he fell out of favor. And so when he comes to leave this mortal coil there's hardly anyone...

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