Blackout Poem – “Death of a Salesman”

The play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, Takes place during the 1950’s, and is about the complicated life of Willy Loman, who is not very successful salesman in Brooklyn. Willy Loman has been having some difficult times with his job since he is becoming old, and this comes with different side effects, such as poor mental health and income problems. Willy has the 1950’s nuclear family, which consists of, his wife, Linda, and his two sons; Biff and Happy Loman. As the play goes on, our characters start showing flaws. Starting with Biff, the oldest son who can not get a stable job and has problems with stealing since he was a teenager, then there is Happy, a womanizer who is stuck in his same job and same position, who has a better life than Biff, starting with the fact that he has an apartment and a car, but still gets overshadowed by his brother all the time, and has insecurities caused by this. Finally we have Linda, who is the typical 1950’s wife, who will do anything to make Willy happy, even if it means supporting his crazy ideas. Moving past in the play, Willy starts showing signs of depression and starts having hallucinations where he often gets visited by his brother, Ben, who was a successful businessman, his mistress, and frequent flashbacks on his past. As all this is happening, Linda starts noticing that Willy is not being successful in his job and is trying to kill himself to get his life insurance money to be able to pay everything in the house.

The play is full of conflict between all of the characters. Tragedy is seen throughout all the play. Starting with all the lies all the characters keep, this being Biff lying about being in jail and not being able to make his dad accept the fact that he is not who his father wants him to be. Happy being overshadowed by his older brother, despite being more successful, yet he is unhappy with the life he has. Linda who is stressed and preoccupied for Willy, who is an arrogant and unfaithful man in a constant fight with himself and he is trying to end his own life to be able to achieve what he once achieved in his life, just when his career started dying. Willy is the tragic hero of the story. The reader can feel empathy towards him because of all the flaws he has, his mental illness, not being able to provide income for his family, having fights with his sons, and him wanting to kill himself. When the reader gets introduced to him, he is already starting his downfall, because he is on his way of having one of his many car accidents.

In the blackout poem we can see how the lines go back and forth as if it was a conversation between all the family members, but all of them describe Willy in a way. Willy is also portrayed in the drawing, since it is the last scene of the play, and that is Willy’s suicide by crashing his car. The words represent who he was “You’re a rotten liar”and “had been doing” represent how he cheated on Linda, yet died with the secret. “Why are you protecting him” could be a perfect phrase for Biff directed to Linda, because he knows about the affair, but is frustrated because his mom, Linda, protects Willy from anything. “Poor” can represent how they are loosing income and how Willy kills himself to not get to that specific point. The last phrase left is “I could feel his breath go out” represents the whole poem, Willy’s suicide.

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