Death of a Salesman
Its main character is Willy Loman, a salesman who works on commission for a company and who is blindly committed to the values of the capitalist society. for example money and social success. He thinks highly of himself but is
actually a man of modest achievements. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife (Linda) and two sons (Happy and Biff), both as unsuccessful as he is because of their father's false ideals and techniques . In the end Biff, his favorite
son, makes him realize the emptiness and meaningless of their lives. Struck by his words and realizing his own complete failure as a father and a businessman, Willy kills himself by crashing his car , in the illusion that at least his
life-insurance money will help his family. No one except his immediate family attends his funeral, so he dies forgotten, apparently a tragic hero, but actually a victim of a society that values man's life than his business efficiency.
The plot is quite simple to understand, but the structure of the play is far from linear . It develops through sequences that blend the present with the past; the present is constituted by the span of time from Willy's return home
from his business trip to his suicide; the past by his dreams, or rather hallucinations, which intrude into the present.
In compliance with this structure, the story is told partly from Willy's mind and memory. Too reproduce them in a visible way on the stage, Miller borrowed the flashback techniques from the cinema.
Yet, he presents the past that comes back to Willy not chronologically but dynamically , "with the inner logic of his erupting volcanic unconscious", thus causing what in psychiatry is called "the return of the repressed". This is also due to the fact that here, as in other plays by Miller, the characters' actions have their roots in the past , so "the plays cannot move forward without moving backward to dig them up. Once excavated , the moments from the past are made to exist as if they have been preserved in amber".