What elements of plot, dialogue, characterization, and theme make Death of a Salesman a realistic play?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the major narrative elements that makes Death of a Salesman a realistic play is the development of the play's protagonist Willy Loman as an antihero.  Willy is very much an average American man who has been overcome by his desire to be successful.  Willy cannot cope with simply being an average salesman, so he blames others for his shortcomings.  During the course of the play, Miller uses flashbacks to give the reader/viewer an idea about Willy's life in the past; Willy wanted his sons Happy and Biff to be on top of everything, and he seemed to live vicariously through their experiences.  In the present, Willy often escapes into his daydreams with Ben to envision the life and adventure he never attained in reality.  The theme of illusion versus reality is evident in the play and people can certainly relate to this theme because it influences our everyday lives.