Death Of Salesman

WORDS  1101

Death Of Salesman

In the play, " Death of a Salesman" , Arthur Miller depicts a typical
dysfunctional family. This is Arthur Miller's best-known and most important
problem play. It is a symbolic and in part expressionistic, and it challenges
the American values concerning success. Willy Loman is a salesman who after
thirty-four years of being on the road, is slowly starting to deteriorate
physically as well as mentally. Upon his being fired, Willy tries to understand
why he has failed as a salesman, a father, and as a husband. The word
"dysfunction" defined according to The American Heritage Dictionary is
"abnormal or impaired functioning". This definition paints a perfect
picture of the daily goings on in the Loman household. It can be said that the

Lomans are a dysfunctional family due to the lack of communication, respect, and
values. The basis for a good relationship is constant communication.

Communication was something the Lomans did not practice often, and when they
did, it usually ended in a shouting match. Willy has extremely poor listening
skills, which is the key component in communication. He constatnly talks over
people, and always interrupts whoever is speaking. When Willy went to talk to

Howard about getting a job in New York, and not traveling anymore was a perfect
example of Willy's poor communication skills. Whenever Howard would start to say
anything that Willy didn't think was in his favor, Willy would talk over Howard.

Page 2 When Howard left Willy alone in the office to greet other people outside,

Willy acknowledged this to himself, saying "What the hell did I say to him?

My God, I was yelling at him! How could I ?" ( Miller 1285). This is a
perfect example of Willy's lack of communication skills. It's well known that
parents' behavior influences their children. So it's no surprise that Biff lacks
communication skills also. Everyone in the family has a habit of interrupting
one another as evidenced in this exchange between Biff and Linda talking about

Willy's car accidents: Biff: What woman? Linda(simultaneously with Biff)
.....and this woman..... Linda: What? Biff: Nothing. Go ahead Linda: What did
you say? Biff: Nothing. I just said what woman? (Miller 1272). This is a typical
conversation in the Loman household; interrupting each other, not listening to
each other, and lack of interest in what one another are saying. Their lack of
communication is again apparent when Willy is getting ready for bed with Linda,
and he's inst...