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Word Count: 624
Death of a Salesmans Symbols ImagerySymbolism runs throughout Death of a Salesman There are examples in almost every scene One example that Miller uses often is the stockings which Linda darns and which Willy presents as a gift to Miss Francis They can be seen as a symbol of Willys career his self-worth and his product At home his life is in crisis and the stockings are full of holes Linda the loving wife attempts to mend their life in the same way that she mends holes in the stockings Willy is enraged at this action and orders her to throw the stockings in the garbage This action is symbolic of his desire to be free of problems at home and enjoy a life of success and harmony When Biff discovers his father with Miss Francis he is most angered by the fact that Willy has given her Mamas stockings Again the garments represent a bond of integrity and happiness that has been violated Willys car plays a symbolic role as well In this car Willy quite literally is driving himself to death We learn from Linda that Willy has staged several previous car accidents These accidents were perhaps early attempts to commit suicide but they were definitely attempts to draw attention to his condition The car represents power movement forward acceleration and mobility - all of which are symbols in Willys life of hopelessness decay and despair It should therefore come as no surprise that Willy consider this vehicle as an instrument with which to kill himself The fountain pen that Biff steals is symbolic of Biffs inadequacies He has no need for the pen nor is it meaningful in any conscious manner Rather it serves to highlight the absurdity of theft the demeaning quality of taking from someone something which you do not need Biff has lived a life based on Willys values but when he discovers that these values are not
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