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The book Death of a Salesman

1. The book Death of a Salesman is a play about a salesman who wants to be well liked by everyone. The title of this book fits the book because there are two salesmen who die in the book. The two salesmen who die in the book are Dave Singleman, who was well liked by everyone, and Willy Loman who was the main character. The book is about a traveling salesman named Willy Loman who has a wife named Linda and two kids named Biff and Happy. The theme of the book is that the most important thing in the world is to have personal attractiveness and to be well liked.

2. Willy Loman is a sixty-one year old man who is a traveling salesman for the Wagner Company. He had worked for the same company for thirty-four years. Willy’s last name is a pun on the word low-man which is symbolic of the kind of person he is and the things he has accomplished. He has nothing and owns nothing and he would be considered a low man in the world status. Willy develops a maxim that states the most important thing in the world is to be well liked. Willy is not well liked so he often lies to his family telling them that he is very important to the New England area. He also pushes his kids very hard to be well liked so he can live vicariously through them.

3. Biff Loman his Willy’s oldest son. Biff is thirty-four years old and was once a high school football star. He spent fourteen years of his life presumably somewhere out west trying to “find himself.” Willy caught his father having an affair with Miss Frances and quickly developed a lack of trust for his father. Willy throughout the play seems to be opposed to his father, but there are many similarities between the two. There views on life tend to be the same and also their values are the same. This is found out when Willy sends his son to steal wood from a construction site to prove to Ben that he is a fearless character. Biff’s willingness to perform the task shows that their values are the same. Happy Loman is the youngest son and was often overshadowed by his brother. Happy works at a department store and has his own apartment. Happy was deprived of attention as a kid because his brother got all the attention. In one of the flashbacks Happy was trying to get attention from his dad by saying, “I’m losing weight, you notice, Pop?” Happy was also a good looking guy because he picked up two girls at the restaurant.

4. The setting of the story is in the New England territory and is changing all the time. In the beginning of the play Willy is just getting home from a vacation in Florida. The play also changes the setting often by having many flashbacks. Other changes in the setting occur when Willy goes different places selling his stuff.

5. Willy had been working for the Wagner Company for thirty-four years when he was taken off salary and put on just commission. Also, his son Biff who had been gone for fourteen years comes home. Biff is not good at keeping a job so when he comes home he decides to ask Bill Oliver four a loan of teen thousand dollars so he can start a business of there own. When he tells Willy about the idea Willy thinks that together they can do anything. Willy also thinks that the most important thing in life is to be well liked and have “personal attractiveness.” Willy then asks his boss for a job in New York to be with his boys and the owner tells him that there is no room for him in the company anymore. Then after a fight with his kids Willy ends up talk to his dead brother Ben who advises him that it is “Time, William, Time.” So Willy commits suicide so that his family can get the insurance. There are many conflicts throughout the play, but the main one is man versus society. Willy is always trying to get people to like him and except him, but they will not.

6. The book was an all right book. It had some interesting parts when it made me think and parts when I picked up the deeper meaning made the book better. I also felt that the book was a little boring in parts and dragged along in parts. There are some parts of the book that could not and would not happen in real life. The one thing that sticks out in my mind that I feel could not happen is that the salesman Dave Singleton selling so much stuff and not even leaving his hotel room. I also do not believe that people would come from all over to the funeral of a salesman. I do think that many of the problems that the characters have could happen in real life. One of the good things about the book is all the symbolic meaning. One thing that I did not like about the book is that it got boring in parts.

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