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Death of a Salesman Presentation

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by

Jane Zhang

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Death of a Salesman Presentation

Death of a Salesman
---How well-done it is as a tragedy? According to Aristotle’s poetics, this play well fulfilled the requirements of a tragedy in the following ways: Symbolic value and its contribution to theme. Biff's sneakers Gardens Machines that break down Lack of sudden recognition of truths associated with the revelation of the identity of protagonist or other characters in the play

This play did inferior jobs in fulfilling the requirements of a tragedy as laid out in Aristotle's poetics in the following ways: At the beginning of the play he seems sincere and noble, he worked hard as as a salesman to support his family trying to pursue the “American Dream”. Tragic flaws:
Willy Loman’s strong pride with his relationship with others causes his tragic downfall. Willy is condescending to his sons especially Biff. The tragic protagonist is left with some choices yet he chose his own downfall.

Willy is surrounded by many wise and sensible people, such as Ben, Charley and Bernard. Irony of situation and verbal irony takes place in this play.
Benard-- from nonsocial to success
Willy Loman---pronounced "low man"
Linda: "we are free!" Willy plants seeds when he tries to calm himself down. This symbolizes a place for comfort and happiness.
Planting seeds in the garden also makes him feel joyful working with his hands. Some appliances in Willy's house break down now and then. They were fancy and modern machines but expensive. They symbolizes the "American Dream" that creates delusions and vanity for the middle-class Americans. Willy’s death seems very predictable and inevitable from the beginning of this play. The protagonist‘s characteristic is static throughout the play, and his downfall results from his own tragic flaws without much external effects.


Willy: reckless impulsive delusive “University of Virginia” is printed on his sneakers, which makes Biff’s sneakers symbolize young realizable dreams. Stockings The Woman’s stockings stand for Willy’s sexual desire and his betrayal of Linda. Linda’s stockings are easily worn out and she mends them often. This suggests that Willy’s financial contribution to his family are unreliable and delusive. The way he hates Linda fixing them suggests that he refuses to admit his inability to support his family. Diamonds Beautiful imaginative dreams which only belong to others instead of Willy. In contrast, diamonds symbolize Willy’s failure as a salesman. Also represents regret, that he should have worked with his brother when he offered him to work together. Two heavy sample cases They represents the reality that Willy has to face. They are the burden on Willy’s back. At the end of the day he has not achieved success he wanted to after all the work he has accomplished. Releasing the burden off his hands after a long day of work was a stress reliever in like the manner of committing suicide, that too was a "relief" for him. The tragic protagonist(Willy) is a focal point within his community(his household). Fate or fortune plays some part in this play.
The play was set in the time when American Dream is the pursuit in society. Actions move from possibilities to probabilities to eventually inevitabilities.
Willy's impulsiveness in American Dream---
Biff's downfall since high school---
Willy's job loss and Biff's hopeless future---
Inevitable destruction: Death Willy Loman’s tragic fall was that he never fulfilled his dreams of being the successful rich salesman that he always wanted to be.
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