Foreshadowing In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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A tragedy is an event that causes suffering or in the case of a play, an unhappy ending. When people think of tragedies, they assume these only occur on a grand scale and involve only people of importance. Whether it be a king, pro athlete or pop sensation, when a person of importance dies it is a sad day in the eyes of the common folk. In Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller, the protagonist, Willy Loman, who is a traveling salesman, dies a death which foreshadowed throughout the book and is tragic despite his low standing in society. In the play where Willy ultimately ends up taking his own life, his tragic ending is foreshadowed with stockings, seeds, and sneakers. In Death of a Salesman, stockings were symbolic of Willy’s…show more content…
Biff catches Willy cheating on his wife Linda with a receptionist from one of the places where Willy sells. Her name is Miss Francis and Willy buys her presents which happened to be stockings the time Biff catches Willy cheating. In response, Biff drops out of summer school, does not end up playing college football and is a farmhand out west making $35 a week. Not only this, but the excellent father-son relationship the two once had is destroyed by the affair. The image of stockings also haunts Willy as he may feel some sort of guilt about the incident. When Willy sees his wife Linda sewing stockings, he says “Will you stop mending stockings? At least while I’m in the house. It gets me nervous. I can’t tell you. Please” (55). He feels guilty that he gave his mistress brand new ones while his wife who he is married to does not even have new ones.…show more content…
He is going to request a desk job at his work so he can make a steady income and his boys are going to a former employer, Bill Oliver, to request a loan so they can start up a business. After the depressing tone set in act one, there appears to be some hope for Willy in act two. A symbol of this which comes up on a few occasions are seeds. From the literal perspective, Willy says that he would like to grow a garden when he is in a good mood at the beginning of act two. Linda in turn says, “That’d be wonderful. But not enough sun gets back there. Nothing’ll grow anymore” (52). Even though Linda is supportive of his idea, she knows it will not work. This is like the false sense of hope Willy has in act two that his plan and his sons’ plan will work out. Someone watching the play or reading the script has a good feeling that Willy’s dreams will not come true and they do not. Willy does not get the job but instead, he gets fired. As for the boys plan, Bill Oliver does not remember Biff at all. Since the boys were supposed to meet Willy at a restaurant afterward to celebrate their new lives, the event makes life even more depressing for the three of them. When the boys ditch him in favor of women they pick up at the bar using lies, Willy is left there alone and is sad. “I've got to get some seeds. I've got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground” (90), is what Willy

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