Death Of a Salesman
~and modern society~
Working poor can’t subsist on minimum wage
People are unable to survive off minimum wage. Before minimum wage was raised to $10.10/hour, it was at $7.25/hour. If you are working full time, that adds up to roughly $290.00/week before taxes. With all the expenses the average American person has, it is virtually impossible to live comfortably working for minimum wage. The struggle of working for low pay appears in Death of a Salesman, when Willy loses his pay and is working solely on commission. He cannot get by and survives off of Charley's weekly giving of $50.00 a week.
Thanks to the explosion in social media, being ‘well liked’ has almost become a profession in itself
This article talks about Taylor Swift being more "popular" than Kim Kardashian on Instagram. Taylor beat out Kim's 48.4 million followers by 2.6 million people. Taylor is now the most followed person on Instagram in the world, with a whopping 50 million followers. In Death of a Salesman, Willy's American dream is to be attractive and well liked, just like Taylor Swift is based on her millions of followers on Instagram.
People are obsessed with looking attractive
In today’s world, people are so obsessed with the way they look, they will go to great lengths to change even the most minor things about them. Kylie Jenner even got multiple procedures done to her lips when she was only 17. This is what she thinks will make her attractive because it had been a long-term insecurity. This shows how far people will go to be attractive, and how important it is, like it was for Willy as well. Willy was so obsessed with being attractive and well-liked, as so many people are today.
Our society is obsessed with "stuff"
Our nation is never satisfied with what we have. The University of California at Los Angeles surveyed freshman to find that ¾ of students say it is essential to be “very well off financially”. A teacher from the school told The Washington Times that if you ask a student what they need they will say an iPod or sneakers, or some other material item. But the obsession with material things is unhealthy, and it is not enough to make us happy. A wealthy New Yorker who was interviewed said “ “I don’t even appreciate everything I have sometimes. Yes, I have a nice apartment, a great job, a great degree, great clothing. But I feel empty inside rather often.” Money and things cannot make us happy, which Willy Loman also did not realize. He spent so many years struggling to make money at a job that was not suited for him.
- "Taylor Swift Surpasses Kim Kardashian & Beyonce On Instagram With 50M Followers." Hollywood Life. N.p., 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
- "Guest Column: You Can't Live on Minimum Wage." Florida Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
- "Kylie Jenner Lips Article - Google Search." Kylie Jenner Lips Article - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016
- "Materialism Spikes in a Generation." Washington Times. The Washington Times, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.