Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What literary devices does Miller use in Death of a Salesman?

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Miller uses the device of flashback extensively in Death of a Salesman. The narrative moves fluidly back and forth in time, so that Willy Loman's present misfortune is juxtaposed with his past mistakes that have contributed to the pathetic situation in which he is now locked.

The dream-sequence device also contributes to our understanding the catastrophe that overtakes Willy in the end. The repeated appearance in his mind of his brother Ben haunts Willy like the visitations of the ghost in Dickens. Ben's presence is a metaphorical device. He symbolizes a mythic success that Willy strives for but fails to achieve. On the one hand Ben represents a reality that is supposed to occur as the centerpiece of the "American dream" that Willy clings to. At the same time, the symbolic device of Ben's appearance is one of illusion. Miller's technique is to...

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sue-riley | Student

Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” uses the literary device of flashback to relate Willy Loman’s memories of the past. This device is used through out the story as a way to show his longing for the papst. An example of this is when at one point in the story, Willy is having a conversation with his deaed brother while at the same time carryingon a card game with Charlie, reliving a past conversation in the present. Miller also uses