Death of a Salesman

Connections to Today

Society Obsessed with "Stuff"

In modern society, almost everyone is materialistic.. In Marshfield, many junior and senior high school students drive to school in either their parent’s car or their own car. Teenagers are obsessed with overpriced brands like Nike, The North Face, Lululemon, Victoria’s Secret, and etc. Almost every kid has a smartphone and their own computer. In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman wanted to be like his brother Ben, who made a fortune in the diamond industry. Willy’s role model was Dave Singleman, a successful salesman, who died a lonely man. He looked up to Singleman’s success but failed to realized that life is about more than just money. Willy overlooks the value of family and that is the one thing that Singleman did not have. Willy’s goals are too materialistic and he should value his family more.

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College Loans and Rising Cost of Colleges

Jobs nowadays are hard to come by. They are getting easier to find but it's still difficult. So many people are competing for the same jobs, not everyone will get them. With that being said, college tuition is extremely high. These young adults are coming out of college with 50,000 dollars or more in debt and they have no job to pay it off. Willy Lowman is in a similar boat because he has no opportunities for jobs either. He’s old. Willy also has no way to pay off his bills because he doesn’t make enough money. Even though this is the way it is, after Willy’s death, Linda says “We’re free and clear” (Requiem) because the house is paid off.
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Employment Uncertainty

Willy worked for years at his firm, but when he got old he was fired like he didn’t matter. (Pages 59-62). “You mustn't tell me you’ve got people to see- I put thirty four years into this firm, Howard, and now I can’t pay my insurance!” (61) Miller talks about how people get fired like it’s nothing, and now technology is coming along. The threat that technology will replace our workers is very real, although not as severe as once thought. “While the predictions of widespread technological unemployment were, by and large, wrong, we should not trivialize the costs borne by the many who were actually displaced.” In history, many times has technology come along to make manufacturing cheaper, but it has rarely actually completely replace jobs. When the spinning jenny was first introduced in England, it only reduced the amount of workers. In places like India, they didn’t even invest in the machine, as they had cheap humans to do the work. Willy gets fired from his job, because Howard doesn’t want an old man like him to represent his company.

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Just like Willy, we all have a dream of what success looks like in our lives.

Growing up Willy never had a figure in his life to show him what success looked like, he thought that success was achieved by being well liked and looking good. “Bigger than Uncle Charley! Because Charley is not---liked. He’s liked, but he’s not well--liked”(Pg 18). Biff and Happy grow up thinking wrong about what success looks like, they are kind of like today's society with kids and the influence of Hollywood. Hollywood and the media is showing kids that only the biggest, most well liked, and best looking people are successful and that is one of the biggest flaws in American Society.
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Important Characters

-Willy Lowman

-Linda Lowman

-Biff Lowman

-Happy Lowman

-Ben Lowman

Group Members

  • Will Green
  • Jack Pan
  • Grayson Owens
  • Mark Loughlin