Winter Will Be Here Soon -- Study hard as finals approach...


 
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Death Of A Salesman

 

Many symbols are incorporated into the play "Death of a
Sales man" and they in turn relate to both character and
theme. The hose, tape recorder and the seeds are some of
these symbols.
 
The hose in Miller's drama directly relates to the theme of
death. The hose is a line attached to the gas main in
Willy's house which allows him to sniff the gas. This
action can be seen as Willy's suicide wish, and escape from
the realities of life. As seen in the loss of his job and
his failure to succeed. The hose also represents grief and
deception. For when Linda, Willy's wife, finds the hose,
she is distraught over its in tended purpose. The deceptive
nature of the hose is apparent when Willy is confronted
about it by Biff, his son and Willy denies its existence. A
similar denial is also evident when Willy is confronted
with the tape recorder in Howard's office.
 
The tape recorder signifies the change in Willy's life
through the advancement of technology. It also represents
the end of Willy's career. This is brought about when
Howard, Willy's boss and godson, shows the tape recorder to
Willy and appears to be more interested in the sound and
technology of the machine instead of Willy, who is fighting
for his job. Howard no longer needs Willy's services and
without concern fires him. This , to Willy, was like,
"eating the orange and throwing away the peel". However,
Willy is partly to blame, as he does not accept change and
wants to remain in the past. This is foreshadowed in the
scene where Willy is left alone with the tape recorder and
is unable to shut it off. Willy believes in using his old
techniques and style to succeed. Nevertheless, in hi job,
it is not what you know, but it is whom you know. Willy is
not up to date with the business nor technology. Yet, Willy
still has hope, and wishes to leave some form of support
behind for his family as illustrated in his planting of the
seeds.
 
Willy feels that he must leave something behind; something
for Biff. In Willy's imaginary world he wants Biff to be
magnificent and he symbolically plants seeds in his garden.
In spite of such an action he is doomed to fail. Willy
starts planting the seeds at night, but at night there is
no sun shining and this seems very odd as seeds require
light to grow. What else is strange is the fact that
Willy's house is boxed in between large apartment buildings
and is covered by the shadows cast by them. It is evident
that no light will fall on Willy's garden. Willy's attempt
to plant and grow seeds is futile, but he persist in his
attempt to seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Thus the
hose, tape recorder and the seeds are all symbolic of
Willy's dreams gone sour, and his inability to live in the
present. His death is inevitable and is mirrored by his
life.

 




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