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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Willy's attempt to plant seeds in his yard late at night is symbolic. He is doing something he should have done a long time ago. Now the tall buildings have surrounded his little home, and anything he planted wouldn't get enough sunlight to grow. He can't even see to read the planting instructions on the seed envelopes. He hasn't saved or invested money. He has encouraged his sons to believe they were so special, so likable, that they didn't need to further their educations, learn useful trades, or make any plans for the future. The world has been changing under capitalism and he hasn't kept up. In his old age he finds himself hanging on to a dead-end job without any savings. He will be laid off without a pension when the company has gotten the maximum value out of him. Death of a Salesman is an indictment of capitalism. Most people, according to Henry Miller, end up like Willy Loman under capitalism. He has been living on illusions. He is starting to understand realiity, but it is too late, just as it is too late for him to start planting a garden, as he has been thinking of doing for many years.

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Death of a Salesman

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