In Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman", how does Willy's memory of his father's funeral compare with his own funeral?

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lcassidy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman", Willy describes his father's funeral as a symbol of his popularity.  He says that people came from everywhere.  He was such a well-liked and successful salesman that his business contacts filled the funeral parlour.  However, Willy who thought he was also as well-liked and who also assumed he was a successful business man has an empty funeral parlour.  When he is planning his suicide, he thinks that people will come from everywhere, just as they had with his father.  The reality, however, demonstrates that Willy had no friends and was disillusioned his entire life. This is the true tragedy of the play.

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Death of a Salesman

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