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The character of Ben in Arthur Millers Death Of A Salesman functions towards the development of his main character Willy Miller uses him as the guiding light for Willies character he provides the backbone for what Willy strives for throughout life Ben functions as Willies idol and through exploration into which Ben is we see who Willy is By viewing Bens morals and actions we are able to see what Willy himself wishes for and believes in By allowing for our understanding of who Willy is Ben is also used to contribute to our understanding of the theme of the novel that you cant allow yourself to get lost in the American dream Ben appears but three times throughout first in a flashback second in a quasi-flashback where Willy has inserted him into a scenario that actually happened and finally in a complete hallucination Through the comparison and understanding of each of these occurrences we are able to gain a vast wealth of knowledge of who Willy Loman actually was For this is Millers purpose for Ben in this novel as a device to allow us to understand what is actually going on inside Willy Lomans head The first time Ben appears is in a flashback within Willies mind Miller uses this flashback to interrupt the action of Willies feeling inadequate about his present situation Willy has returned home from a selling trip unable to concentrate and unable to keep his mind in the present Ben appears as an out for Willy from this situation a way for him to forget about his present condition and feelings The flashback with Ben provides us with a large amount of information about himself and thus about Willy We learn first that Ben is a lot wealthier then Willy and that while they are brothers they did not grow up together The first main thing we find out is that Willy quite idolizes him although they have never
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