DEATH OF A SALESMAN - by Arthur Miller

DEATH OF A SALESMAN - by Arthur Miller

I´ve chosen to make only a very short summary of the handling , but a comprehensive characterisation

and evaluation.


The play is about Willy Loman , his sons Happy and Biff , and his wife Linda.

Biff has got no job , he only worked on a farm once , and Willy is very sad about that.

In Highschool , Biff was the star of the footballteam , but he flunked math and he didn´t


Happy has got a good job and lives in an appartment in New York and has no problems with Willy.

Willy wants Biff to be a business-man , but Biff wants his freedom.

As he sees no other chance for Biff to get the money for his business-startup , he commits

suicide with his car (so that Biff can have the insurance money to become successful with).



Willy Loman is salesmen. The sales firm he works for no longer pays him salary.

Working on straight commission, Willy cannot bring home enough money to pay his bills.
Willy lives in a world of illusion , he thinks that his children have to become rich , he believes that to be well liked is the means to being successful. He thinks of moments , which were years ago , and cannot divide reality from imagination.

He has lived his whole life for his sons , and in the end he commits suicide because he wants

to help Biff.


Linda is Willy's wife and she is always trying to stand between Willy and her sons.

She knows that Willy tried to commit suicide , but she doesn´t say a word because she

doesn´t want to embarrass him.

Linda has given all her life for Willy and the children.


Biff is the Loman´s elder son. Biff was a star football player in high school , but he didn´t

graduate because he flunked math.

He hasn´t got a good relationship with his father , because Willy is disappointed of him.

He is the most pitiable person in the play , because his father commited suicide for him.


Happy is the Loman's youngest son. He lives in an apartment in New

York, and during the play is staying at his parent's house to visit.

Happy is the person with the least problems , he is realistic.

EVALUATION ( found in the internet ):

Willy has lost at trying to live the American Dream and the play can

be viewed as commentary about society. Willy was a man who

was worked all his life by the machinery of Democracy and Free

Enterprise and was then spit mercilessly out, spent like a 'piece of



The play was very difficult to read because there were many flashbacks. I often noticed

a flashback only when the action was in the present again.

The thing about Ben , Willy´s brother also upset me: I didn´t know , if he was real in a flashback or in Willy´s mind ( because they got the letter that he died ).

All in all I didn´t enjoy the play , it was very boring and confusing.

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