Miller blend reality and imagination


 Arthur Miller (1915-2005) has shown his creative genius of mingling reality and imagination in the play “Death of a Salesman” (1949). In fact, reality and imagination are dramatic tactics. We see a complex use of reality and imagination in the drama. The definition of imagination is the ability to come up with mental images of something that is not real or to come up with new and creative ideas.

Miller blend reality and imagination

Imperceptible future

We know that imagination is a kind of idea that has nothing to do with reality. Similarly, Willy Loman is immersed in imagination. Willy Loman’s big fantasy world is the American Dream. He thinks that his name, fame, and money will be like Dave Singleman. Dave Singleman is the best salesman in America. Similarly, Willy Loman wants to be as successful as Dave Singleman. Finally, we have seen that, for the only Imagination, Willy Loman has failed in his life.

Notes of Drama


Hallucination means unreal or illusory things. In the play, the playwright has used hallucinations. As we see earlier in the play, Willy Loman talks to his dying brother while taking food out of the fridge. Again, while playing cards with Charley, Willy Loman talks to Death’s brother. Ben is Willy Loman’s older brother who is currently deceased.  Ben says how he became a successful person. Willy Loman speaks to Ben after his death. In the last scene of the play, we see that Ben is telling his brother about getting money from insurance. Such hallucinations always force Willy thinking in the following way:

The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it! Walked into a jungle and comes out, the age of 21, and he’s rich!”

All Notes of Death of Salesman

Celebration for achievement

In the play, Willy Loman was American Dream. Willy Loman imagines that he has a car, a house, and so on. He goes to the world of imagination and rejoicing with his success. In the reality, he is complete failure person in the drama. On other hand, Charley and Bernard are doing the Celebration for achievement.

Struggles of life

Miller has shown the reality of life in the play. Willy is the symbol of the Struggle of life. Willy Loman is a salesman. He is 63 years old but he is doing the job. On the other hand, Charley and Bernard are successful men by hardworking. Charley is a successful businessman and Bernard is the lawyer.  All those characters are struggling for the success of life. Thus, the playwright has suggested that the celebration of achievement is for those who are practical and hardworking, not for an imaginative person like Willy Loman.

Very particular Life

In the play, we have seen a particular life which Ben, Charley, and Bernard lead. Ben is a successful businessman in Africa. When he was seventeen, he entered the jungle and found the mines and it is well-known to the world that finding mines is very laborious. Charley is a successful man and his son Bernard is also. Bernard is a successful lawyer. On other hand, Willy is the salesman.  He is doing the job. Biff is the son of Willy, he does not have any job. Linda Loman is the wife of Willy Loman. Linda Loman solves many problems. Such kind of lifestyle is the real picture in all society not in America only.

“Willy, when’re you goanna realize that the things don’t mean anything. You named him Howard, but you can’t sell that. The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you’re a salesman, and you don’t know that.”


To sum up, we can say that Arthur Miller has used reality and imagination to reveal the real picture of American society but it has been universal since we can trace an ambitious man like Willy Loman in any corner of the world.

Biswazit Kumar
Biswazit Kumar
Articles: 64

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