Topics for Further Study
Research the economic growth America experienced during the post-World War II years. What do you feel led people like Willy Loman to expectations regarding success and the "American Dream."
In what ways could the Loman family have avoided their sad situation by the play's end? Consider such elements as communication and compromise.
Compare and contrast the characters of Willy Loman and Amanda Wingfield (from Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie); both of these characters spend much of their time recalling their past, often incorrectly. In what ways does this selective perception of their pasts affect their current situations?
Miller's play criticizes the false promises of the American Dream. Discuss facets of late twentieth century life that lead people to similar misconceptions of attainable success. Consider the role that advertising, music, television, and films have on this issue.