Death of a Salesman
Features and Themes
Right from the very "Introduction to Collected Plays" in Miller's we read that when he decided to write Death of the Salesman, what he had in mind was to represent the inside of a head (the original title was in fact to be The Inside
of His Head) and the work was to be "half in laughter" because the inside of his head was a mass of contradictions. The final work is actually much more tragic. As in All My Sons, Miller starts Death of a Salesman near the end, when Willy is already on the point of collapsing . But here the past is not introduced into the present work, but through memories in the sense that when Willy remembers something we see it as if it were occurring that very moment. The play therefore avoids any immediate correlation between cause and effect, which is eventually made clear later in the play.
According to the Themes at the other hand:
-Cynicism about the long-term effects of sales work on the human psyche.
- The false values that characterized the sales world mainly based on the concept that success depends mostly on "being liked" or "well-liked" rather than on honesty and correctness.
- The inability to distinguish between reality and illusion.
- The failure of the American Dream and of the myth of success.
Almost all of these themes and features can be figured out after in the play.