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December 04, 2005

success and failure

Miller, Death of a Salesman -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Although this is my second time reading this play, its still confused me. Willy Loman's Delusions of Grandeur confused me whether or not what was going on was real or not. Willy is definitely mental. Does anyone know what's actually wrong with him?

WILLY: Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground.

After the huge fight scene in Frank's CHop Houe in Act II, Willy all of a sudden is fixated on buying seeds to plant in his backyard garden.

I think the garden and seeds symbolize Willy's failure. As he's planting the seeds and comparing them to success and failure, inside he is disappointed he never really ever became his salesman idol, Dave Singleman.

Posted by AmandaNichols at December 4, 2005 01:10 PM

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Oh yeah, definitely symbolic Amanda. I think he really wishes that the "seeds" had grown into "healthy plants" but feels that they didn't. All of his hard work seems to have come to nothing but troubles. He feels guilty and so he wants to try toplant them now in hopes that it will help.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at December 4, 2005 03:23 PM

I agree that the seeds are symbolic. As for Willy, It is his past that has made him the insecure and obviously mentally ill person he is. Both his father and his older brother Ben abandoned him in his youth. They were the epitomy of what was a masculine and right person to be. I also think that this is one of those plays that is better and easier to get if you see it performed. I read the play and saw it performed and it really helped

Posted by: Rachel Prichard at December 4, 2005 06:57 PM

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