Willy Loman Symbolism

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Madeline Washburn Garland English 1302 – Period 1 March 3, 15 Death of a Salesman Symbolism Rhetorical devices are used by authors in order to help their readers fully understand the story being told. He or she may decide on certain objects to use that serve to represent certain ideas important to the overall meaning or message of their work. Symbolism helps the reader gain a deeper understanding of the emotional aspects being portrayed by the author. Arthur Miller, author of Death of a Salesman, uses various symbols throughout his play to represent the common ideas he wishes to depict. The American West is a very prominent and important symbol throughout the play. The main character, Willy, has a burning desire for more. His father and…show more content…
It is through this excitement that Willy decides he needs to plant some seeds outside of his home. Miller uses these seeds to symbolize Willy’s feelings of failure and hope. Willy often feels as if he has failed as a father. He even accuses Biff of being lazy. Because Willy does not have too much success of his own, he considers himself to be the cause of his children’s lack of success. One source states, “Seeds represent his feeling of failure as far as leaving a legacy for his children, as well as his failure to raise young men who would turn out to be a success…” (Boysen, 2012). With the seeds, he hopes to produce and raise a life without hardship. It is clear that Willy needs something new that he can take care of and make successful on his own. He needs to feel as if he has done something good, and the seeds will give him a fresh start. He craves the reassurance of knowing he is capable of raising successful offspring. These seeds represent Willy’s need to build a life without flaws, one that will grow and live happily in…show more content…
On the surface, its meaning is clear. Once source explains how the hose is “a symbol of Willy’s impending suicide” (Florman and Kestler, 2015). However, a deeper look within reveals a greater meaning. Willy is suffering heavily from mental pain. His depression is taking a huge toll on him. The hose, therefore, represents Willy’s need to escape reality. The frequent occurrence of the hose on the stage is a constant reminder of his mental pain and emotional struggles. Without this symbol, the reader would not be able to fully comprehend his painful internal

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