Arthur Miller Thesis Statement

Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements for “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in “Death of a Salesman” and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “Death of a Salesman” at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: The Role of Modernity in Death of a Salesman

In “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, the main character, Willy Loman is a man living on the cusp of modern America, in the late 1940’s. As more and more new appliances and cars are being manufactured, Willy Loman is constantly trying to obtain the best things for his family. As he slowly starts to lose his mind in this materialistic world, it becomes clear that the only thing he is really concerned about is keeping up with the people around him in terms of success and possessions. Throughout the play, he constantly mentions the fact that he is running out of money and can no longer pay for their new appliances, and he mournfully regrets not going to Africa with Ben, who struck it rich. In many cases then, modernity sets the stage for the . What kind of commentary is Arthur Miller making about the race for material goods and the cost that it has to our mental health? What instances in the book back this up?

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: Abandonment in Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman ‘s Willy Loman had a life that was full of abandonment from the start. In true , ith the desertion of his father at a young age, followed by Bill’s expedition to Africa, Willy has been left behind many times by the people he loves. As his fear of abandonment grows stronger, so does the grasp of control that he tries to maintain over the lives of his family. However, that control does not prevent Biff from abandoning his dreams at the discovery of his father, nor does it prevent Biff and Happy from deserting Willy at the restaurant after his outburst. In the final scene of “Death of a Salesman”, the audience learns of Willy’s own abandonment of his family, in the form of suicide. In what ways is Willy trying to rectify the situation in his life? Can his self-inflicted death really be considered abandonment?

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Madness in Death of a Salesman

As Willy Loman’s story unfolds throughout” Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, it becomes progressively clearer that the salesman is losing his mind. It begins with the flashbacks to an earlier life, when Willy was happy insulting Charley and his son Bill. However, the flashbacks quickly turn into haunting scenes, where the sound of the woman’s laughter can set Willy off on a rampage very quickly. Eventually, his madness destroys him, as he is found out in the garden, plotting with an imaginary Ben the ways in which he can make twenty thousand dollars. His madness progresses from flashbacks to the sound of the woman’s laughter, to interaction with imaginary people, and throughout it all, his family is struggling to cope with the situation. What can be said for the ties of the family in this situation? Despite the fact that Willy was an adulterer, Linda stayed by his side as he lost his mind; what does that say about the power of love in the face of madness?

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Death of a Salesman and Betrayal

Betrayal is a thread that ties together much of the plot in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman feels personally betrayed by his son Biff’s inability to succeed in life, despite what Willy sees as loving encouragement. Biff Loman, however, feels betrayed by his father because of the affair that he discovered when he heard a woman laughing in the bathroom, which also echoes a betrayal of Willy’s marriage vows. Perhaps the biggest and most tragic betrayal of all lies in the loss of Willy’s job and subsequently, his mind. In what ways does betrayal affect the plot? How do each of the characters who experience this betrayal deal with its effects?

* For an analysis of the tragic elements in Death of a Salesman, compared with another tragedy or, check out . *

~ Be sure to check out thePaperStarter entry for “The Crucible”which is another play by Arthur Miller ~


This list of important quotations from “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from “Death of a Salesman” listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers or, in this case, scene and act numbers to help you find the quotes easily.

“When I was seventeen, I walked into the jungle. And by twenty-one, I walked out. And by God, I was rich!” (I.vii)

“When a deposit bottle is broken, you don’t get your nickel back.” (II.iv)

“After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.” (II.iv)

“We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house.” (II.vii)

“He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong.” (II. Vii)

“I looked up and I saw they sky … and I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.” (II.vii)

“I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.” (I.iix)

“I’ve got to get some seeds. I’ve got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground.” (II.iii)

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In the play “All My Sons”, by Arthur Miller, the word ‘father’ means the personification of goodness and infallibility to Chris Keller. There was a strong relationship between Chris and his father, Joe. Everything Joe had done in his life was for Chris. His entire factory was intended for Chris once he retired. Throughout the play there was question of Joe’s innocence in the death of 21 pilots, wh... Full-text essay

Arthur Miller was an American playwright who was born in 1915. He grew up in New York to a Jewish family. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1938 where he began to distinguish himself as a playwright. His first plays were Honors at Dawn (1936) and No Villain (1937) which won the University of Michigan Hopwood Awards. His Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer prize in 1949. Miller wrote... Full-text essay

Individualism has always been close and dear to American hearts. Even since colonial days, Americans have fought for and displayed individualism. Americans thrive on their differences and ideals to run their daily lives. The four stories Daisy Miller, Back to Babylon, Invisible Man, and Death of a Salesman display just that. The first story Daisy Miller, by Henry James, is about an American female... Full-text essay

My initial reaction to the play was absolutely hideous, and my malcontent was vibrant. I felt that reading A View From The Bridge was a tedious waste of time and that the play itself was a trivial piece of literature. I found the play to be neither intriguing nor interesting in the tiniest fashion. The only aspect that I found mildly intriguing was the character of the protagonist, Eddie Carbone, ... Full-text essay

Author Miller's plays are usually associated with real life issues filled with failure and disappointment. Death of a Salesman written in 1949 is no exception. The author's main character, Willy Loman, is a traveling salesman who spends his whole life time trying to find success based on looks and popularity. His brother Ben is a millionaire who owns diamond mines in Africa. Ben offers Willy the c... Full-text essay

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The Crucible written by Arthur Miller is a play that takes place in the sixteen nineties during the famous but tragic witch trials. The entire community is in pandemonium yet certain characters are also fighting internal conflicts of their own. Miller uses three characters who manifest this internal battle ever so clearly. Such as Mary Warren who whole personality turns upside down, John Proctor w... Full-text essay

In The Crucible, a play about the Salem witch trials of 1692, by Arthur Miller, the character of Reverend Parris displays hypocrisy. Priest are generally considered good, honest people, but Parris lies to the community, he puts his ministry in front of his daughters life, and tries to help himself before helping the community. Even when Parris’s daughter is sick and he is unsure what is wrong with... Full-text essay

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Thesis Statement: The purpose is to educate and display to the reader the hysteria and injustice that can come from a group of people that thinks it's doing the "right" thing for society in relation to The Crucible by Arthur Miller. I. Introduction: The play is based on the real life witch hunts that occurred in the late 1600's in Salem, Massachusetts. It shows the people's fear of what ... Full-text essay

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Back in the 1950's, when insecurity permeated the air, and people were ruled by fear, Arthur Miller wrote a play, which defined the line between insecurity and fear. The Crucible was a remade story of the carnal Salem Witch trials, in which many innocent victims lost their lives. Through this play Miller is trying to convey the message that death is not in our possession; we are not messengers of ... Full-text essay

A political cartoon shows a massive stone wall surrounding tall office buildings which bear labels of "Department of Energy," "Defense Department," "National Security Agency," "CIA," and "FBI." Outside the wall, which is tagged "Government Secrecy," a couple huddles in a roofless hut called "Personal Non-Privacy." At the top of ... Full-text essay

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Charley says something in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman that sums up Willy’s whole life. He asks him, "When the hell are you going to grow up?" Willy’s spends his entire life in an illusion. He sees himself as a great man that is popular and successful. Willy exhibits many childlike qualities. Many of these qualities have an impact on Willy’s family. His two sons Biff and Happy pic... Full-text essay

Death of a Salesman, written in 1949 by American playwright Arthur Miller, illustrates the destructive compulsion of a man to attain a success far beyond his reach. This is accomplished through the portrayal of Willy Loman, the play's central character. Willy Loman is a pathetic character because he does not hold any possibility of victory. Unrealistic dreams which are the product of a refusal to ... Full-text essay

Compared with other Characters Literary Journalists have spent lots of time researching different characters in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and have focused primarily on Willy Loman, since he is the most complex character in the play. There have been many different theories about the relationship between him and the other characters of the play. Certain Journalists have gone beyond that p... Full-text essay

Willy Loman, the troubled father and husband in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," can be classified as a tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle in his works, "Poetics." In Aristotle's text, a tragic hero was defined as one who falls from grace into a state of extreme unhappiness. Willy, as we are introduced to him, becomes increasingly miserable as he progresses from a dedic... Full-text essay

No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible, while some attack the problem to get it out of the way. Willy Loman's technique in Arthur Miller's play “Death of a Salesman”, leads to very severe con... Full-text essay

“Biff suffering from Willy’s illusions and delusions” Who is William Loman? William Loman is the main character in the play Death Of A Salesman by Arthur Miller. In the play Willy is play as an elderly salesman and lost in false hopes and illusions. As Willy grown older, he has trouble distinguishing between the past and present. The character that suffer from Willy’s illusions and delusions was B... Full-text essay

Is it possible to control your whole life? Is there a way to know how your life will turn out before it happens? In the play of “Death of the Salesman” Willy Loman faces these questions. Willy Loman was a simple man who was a salesman. Since Willy thought that his life was so simple he thought that he could control everything to it. Willy Loman thought that he could control the aspect of his job, ... Full-text essay

Author Miller's Death of Salesman. Author Miller's plays are usually associated with real life issues filled with failure and disappointment. Death of a Salesman written in 1949 is no exception. The author's main character, Willy Loman, is a traveling salesman who spends his whole life time trying to find success based on looks and popularity. His brother Ben is a millionaire who owns diamond mine... Full-text essay

The American dream has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development. ...Epitomizing the democratic ideals and aspirations on which America had been founded, the American way of life ...developed for the benefit of the simple human being of any and every class.” J.T. ADAMS - The epic of America (1938) Playwright Arthur Miller’s “ Death of A Salesman” could be described as a study in the Am... Full-text essay

Thesis: In Arthur Miller’s, Death of a Salesman, the character of Ben is used as a catalyst to fuel the development of the main character, Willy. The character of Ben in Arthur Miller’s, Death Of A Salesman, functions as a catalyst to fuel the development of his main character, Willy. Miller uses Ben as an idealistic figure for Willy. Ben is the figure that Willy strives to be like throughout the ... Full-text essay

Death of a Salesman Is Willy Loman a hero or a villain? Willy could not be possibly thought as a hero. There are arguments that support both arguments of Willy being a hero or a villain, but most of them support Willy as being a villain. Willy did not have the friends and contacts that he claimed and emphasized his boys to have. Most of his life became a lie to him and his family. Willy commits ma... Full-text essay

In the first B.C dramatist known as Aristotle started to write a series of plays called the tragedies. They were as follows: the play revolved around a great man, such as a king or war hero, who had a tragic flaw. This flaw would eventually become his downfall and he would fall from his glory. In the case of obvious it was his hubris; and Oedipus, his pride and curiosity. Through out the play the ... Full-text essay

Death is such a contradicting situation. It is always a sad event, but in some perspectives it may or may not be a joyous event. Not to say that death should be celebrated, just to point out that life may have been a more dramatic experience. For my first novel in G.T. I read Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was born in 1915, in New York City. His parents were we... Full-text essay

Of the characters in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," Mary Warren, a minor character, is actually one of the most important, dynamic characters. She goes from being a lonely, shy, frightened teenager to being a brave witness with a backbone, in court. But her change is short-lived, however, and she retreats to being a scared, wimpy girl. Mary Warren, the scared, wimpy girl that she is, is... Full-text essay

reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller, one cannot help but wonder why when given the chance to confess to the accusations and live, did the characters choose to stay firm and die? For people today that question is not easily answered. In the past however, this was not a question at all. The answer was found within the strong religious background that most of the accused were raised on, and the fe... Full-text essay

"Willy as a hero or a villain?" A large controversy that revolves around the play "Death of a Salesman" is whether or not Willy Loman was actually a hero or a villain in the story. It certainly cannot be said that he is really one or the other because of the evidence that is given throughout. At some times he seems the pitiful victim of other people's actions but at others he s... Full-text essay

In The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, the madness of the Salem witch trials is explored in great detail. There is more to the play than the witch trials, though. The Crucible was composed during a time when a similar hysteria was sweeping through America. A virtually unkown senator by the name of Joseph McCarthy was propelled into infamy when while at a speaking engagement at thee Republican ... Full-text essay

It is every father's dream for their children to grow up and lead a better life than they did and provide for their family better. Willy Loman was no exception to the rule, because he wanted the best for his children from a very young age, especially for his promising son Biff. Biff was loaded with potential as a boy in high school, and Willy recognized it and promoted it more than he needed to. A... Full-text essay

When someone mentions Marilyn Monroe, one usually thinks off the seductive all-American sex goddess who captured the world with her woman-childlike charm. Yet not many know her as the illegitimate child who endured a childhood of poverty and misery, sexual abuse, and years in foster home and orphanages. Most people don’t realize that her disrupted loveless childhood may been the main reason to her... Full-text essay

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