What is the motif of the stockings in Death of a Salesman?

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The stockings motif illustrates the moral corruption into which Willy Loman has fallen. His illicit affair with a secretary—to whom he gives a gift of luxurious stockings—has damaging repercussions for Willy's relationship with Biff, the apple of his eye, the son he always believed would fulfill his hopes and dreams.

Stockings come to represent the chimera that Willy has been chasing all these years, but without much success: the American Dream. In chasing that dream of wealth and opportunity, he's neglected the most important people in his life: his family. It's notable that Linda has to darn her old stockings, to make do and mend. This indicates how far short of achieving the American Dream Willy really is. The devil's bargain he's made with the system of American...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 414 words.)

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