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Death of a Salesman

by Arthur Miller

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Is Death of a Salesman simply a domestic tragedy?

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In a word, no.  This play really speaks to the corporate culture in American during the time period, as well as today.  The idea that Willy compared himself to a piece of fruit that was eaten, only to have the peel thrown away after the good part was gone, is a direct comparison to the way in which companies and businesses use up their employees during their productive period, only to abandon them when they become too old to continue on.

Miller was often considered a Marxist for some of the views he set forth in his plays.  He does speak to the workers' struggle in this play, and not so subtly at that.  However, the way in which Willy is presented to us leaves readers feeling somewhat sorry for him.  Even though he made a mess of his own life, he deserves better from his employer.  Many workers today can sympathize with his character, as they near retirement and wish for some recognition/security from their employer.

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