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Word Count: 1,194
The plays Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Our Town by Thornton Wilder relate to each other closely in their theme and purpose Both plays have an interesting comparison of characters in which self-realization and their priorities in life make a sharp contrast In Death of a Salesman Willy Loman sees material gain and the respect of others as paramount Whereas his son Biff displays a more genuine lifestyle in that he can admit that he does not know exactly his role in life but is willing to search to find true happiness The comparison of characters in Our Town is a little less drastic in the manner that the characters start at about the same plane of self-actualization until one dies and then realizes lifes true meaning Emily and George start as two lighthearted teenagers Emily is disciplined goal-oriented and determined but does not truly appreciate life until the end of the play While George begins as an irresponsible teenager and ends up as a more mature but shallow adult The authors of the play use the relationships between characters to portray their theme of lifes simple pleasures that go unappreciated in a society that is driven by the eternal requirement of success The characters of Willy and Biff Loman show completely opposite approaches to life and their individual pursuit of happiness Throughout the play of Death of a Salesman Willy convinces himself that the only measures of happiness and success in life are the value of your material possessions and the degree to which others respect you These false images of lifes meaning drive him to insanity and to a delusional suicide The pressures of society force Willy to skew his goals and start down a trail of dishonesty to himself and his family For instance in his salesman quest Willy sleeps with a buyers secretary simply to gain favor and a steady customer In order to be successful he believes
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