How does Arthur Miller use tone and diction to convey the theme of the "American dream?" I don't understand how he uses tone in his writing.

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Diction is the term for the words a writer chooses, and diction determines the writer's tone. Because Death of a Salesman is a tragedy, Arthur Miller's tone is necessarily a dark one.

In the opening scene of act 1, Willy Loman tells his wife Linda "I'm tired to the death. . . I just couldn't make it, Linda." This confession sets the tone for the piece; despite his best efforts, Willy Loman never fully realizes his own American Dream of success. Willy nears retirement age having to confront his own shortcomings: he is not wealthy, independent, respected, or even as well-liked as he intended to be by this time in his life. He is a moral failure for cheating on his wife, and he has lost the respect of his son, who knows about it. Willy knows that he does not deserve Linda's loyalty and belief in him, and he recognizes incipient signs of failure in his adult sons. Willy realizes that even as a father he is a bit of a failure. Success, respect, a loving marriage, and a thriving family are...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 622 words.)

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