Death of a Salesman Themes

  • In Death of a Salesman, Willy struggles to reconcile his idea of himself with his failures. This theme of self-deception weaves through the play, building as Willy disappoints his family and fails to help his sons financially.
  • The American Dream is one of the underlying themes in Death of a Salesman. Willy's desire to be financially and socially secure stem directly from his belief in the American Dream. In the end, the play suggests that the American Dream is unattainable.
  • Death of a Salesman also addresses the theme of aging. Willy Loman is a middle-aged salesman with outdated ideas about himself and the world around him. He still believes that he can succeed in life, even though it's abundantly clear that his time has passed.


(Drama for Students)

Appearances vs. Reality
What appears to be true to the characters in Death of a Salesman is often a far cry from reality,...

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