Death of a Salesman Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman book cover
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What are some ideas from success versus failure in Death of a Salesman?

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When Arthur Miller was writing the Death of a Salesman, to be successful, a person needed to conquer the public’s highest expectations. If one chose to spend his life as indifferent, neglectful, inferior, or lazy-- society would label that person as a failure.  This drama portrays a family’s dreams and the reality of their lives. Miller thematically criticizes the materialistic society of the late 1940s.

History has always committed to the idea that money, career, and family measure the success and failure of an individual. Most people believe that material goods represent the essence of success. These are the issues that Willy Loman and his family face as they try to live their lives in a hostile environment.

The protagonist Willy Loman wants to be liked. His conviction has been that popularity, attractiveness, and luck are the three keys to success.   He judges one of the most successful salesm en in his company by the high attendance at the man’s funeral. ...

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