As a Pulitzer Prize winner, Death of a Salesman deserves some attention, which is most likely the reason why you were asked to write an essay about it. Even though Arthur Miller wrote it in the middle of the twentieth century, the play is still relevant.
This Custom-Writing.org article aims to help you if you are looking for a decent essay topic on Death of a Salesman or have to choose between many variants.
- The first section of it contains a list of ideas that might help you write a great essay.
- The second one contains Death of a Salesman essay samples that you are welcome to use for inspiration.
💡 Death of a Salesman: Essay Topics
Miller addresses various themes, such as the American dream and betrayal, incorporated into family life. To write a killer essay on Death of a Salesman, you should first study all aspects of the play. So you don’t forget to read through our analysis of the main characters and themes!
Now you are all set up to pick a topic from the list below.
- Analyze the main symbols of the play. There are multiple hidden symbols that Miller uses to represent one idea or another. The interpretation depends on you. There are no wrong answers. However, to set a direction, we recommend looking at such a symbol as the stockings. It is quite an obvious hint on the theme of betrayal.
- How is Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman as a father? Willy Loman, the main character in Death of a Salesman, is far from being the employee of the month. But as a father, he is also supposed to be a role model to his two sons. However, we can see that Biff and Happy have developed their personalities according to their dad’s behavior.
- Can Willy Loman be considered a hero? Loman tries to solve the problems which are too big for him. He cannot possibly overcome capitalism and becomes its victim. Analyze Willy’s last act and see whether it can be genuinely regarded as a good deed or it is a desperate attempt to get rid of a problem.
- Discuss the theme of the American Dream in Death of a Salesman. Is it Willy’s fault that he failed his family? Think about how our ambitions shape the course of our lives and write an essay reflecting on it in relation to the play. Discuss the fate of the salesman as the embodiment of the American dream.
- How reasonable was Willy’s despair in the final scenes? Look through all the details you can find about the Loman family and analyze their social and financial state. Try to write an objective opinion on whether Willy’s suicide was the only option for them. What might have caused him to exaggerate the problems they were having?
- Discuss the statement “Be liked, and you will never want” from Death of a Salesman. This prompt is related to Willy’s life philosophy, which he passes on to his sons. Are there any reasons to claim that it doesn’t work? Why? Maybe reflect on the same idea circulating in modern society.
- What is the meaning of Arthur Miller’s play? We suggest you answer the question, “What is the main message of Death of a Salesman?” Rereading our analysis of the main themes and characters should give you some ideas! However, remember to focus on ONE idea and present persuasive arguments.
- Analyze Willy Loman’s career choice. What do you think about Willy’s decision to go into the sales business? Was it the right choice? Find the evidence in the play? Think about how different his life and life of his family could be if he had chosen a different occupation, which fits his natural abilities.
- Illusions and realistic dreams as Willy Loman’s coping mechanism. Look at Death of a Salesman as a tragedy and the story about the main character’s inner fight. Write about how he retreats into the memories to escape real-life problems. Does it have anything to do with his failure to understand his ambitions?
- Discuss the reason for Willy’s rejection of Charley’s job offer. Loman keeps turning down his friend’s job offer, and it seems to be annoying him more and more every time. But what is the reason? He might have been more well-off if he accepted it. Is it about his pride or social values?
✒️ Death of a Salesman: Essay Samples
Below you’ll find a collection of Death of a Salesman essay examples. You are welcome to use them for inspiration!