Death of a Salesman is an iconic play by American author Arthur Miller, first published in 1949 It tells the story of an aging salesman named Willy Loman, who is struggling to come to terms with his failing dreams and self-worth. The story follows Willy’s journey of self-realisation as he faces a number of challenges, ultimately leading to his death.
Death of a Salesman is a classic example of the tragedy genre, and has been widely discussed in academic and literary circles since its initial release. It is considered one of the best plays of the 20th century, and is still widely read and studied today. As a result, it provides an ideal topic for an essay. Here are five essay topic ideas related to Death of a Salesman:
1. The Theme of Dreams and Self-Worth: Willy Loman’s character is often seen as a representation of the ‘American Dream’ – a dream of success and wealth based on hard work. Discuss the importance of this theme within Death of a Salesman and how it relates to Willy’s life and eventual death.
2. The Role of Masculinity in Death of a Salesman: Willy’s difficult relationship with his son Biff is a major theme in the play. Discuss how masculinity is presented in the play, and how it affects the characters’ interactions with each other.
3. The Role of Women in Death of a Salesman: Though Willy’s wife Linda is a secondary character in the play, she has an important influence on the plot and characters. Discuss Linda’s role in the play and how her viewpoint towards Willy and Biff impacts their relationship.
4. Symbolic Representations in Death of a Salesman: The play contains a number of symbols including the stockings, the rubber hose, and the seeds. Discuss the importance of these symbols and how they act as reminders of Willy’s life and eventual death.
5. The Role of Music in Death of a Salesman: Music is used throughout the play to create atmosphere and move the story forward. Discuss the role of music in Death of a Salesman, and how it helps convey the themes of the play.