Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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What is Arthur Miller's view of the "common man tragedy" in Death of a Salesman?

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Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Willy Loman faces the kind of struggles that are more or less universal for ordinary people. He is aging, and American culture has traditionally not been kind to people as they enter their later years. This is particularly true when it comes to employment; age discrimination is real, and Willy Loman in some ways falls victim to it. Times have changed in his profession, but he is mired in the old ways of doing things. The scene with his younger boss's tape recorder is meant to emphasize the point that technology is changing the world and Willy is out of touch with those changes. Men traditionally define themselves by their career success, and Willy is forced into the uncomfortable position of realizing that he is well past his window for success.

Another way that adult men define themselves is through the success of their families. Willy cannot be proud of himself as a husband. He has been unfaithful to his loyal wife who sacrificed having nice things because of his unstable income. He...

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