In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, what does Willy's father symbolize?

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Willy's father symbolizes a much simpler time: a time of pre-industrialization, when the craftsman was both maker and marketer; when workers could enjoy some degree of autonomy as opposed to the atomized nature of the modern industrial employee. Willy's father was also a salesman, but crucially he made the things he sold, putting his heart and soul into each and every flute he so carefully crafted. In this way, Willy's father had an intimate connection with the things that he sold; he wasn't alienated from them in the way that Willy is from the goods he peddles.

Willy never knew his father, and so he only truly exists as a myth. In his life and in his work, Willy desperately tries to inhabit his father's mythical world, the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 387 words.)

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