Symbols are objects, personalities, numbers, or colorssupplied to recurrent abstract principles or ideas.

You are watching: Symbols in the death of a salesman


Seeds recurrent for Willy the possibility to prove theworth of his labor, both as a salesmale and also a father. His despeprice,nocturnal attempt to grow vegetables signifies his shame about barelybeing able to put food on the table and having actually nopoint to leavehis kids as soon as he passes. Willy feels that he has actually functioned hardhowever fears that he will not have the ability to aid his offspring any kind of morethan his very own abandoning father helped him. The seeds likewise symbolizeWilly’s feeling of faitempt through Biff. In spite of the American Dream’sformula for success, which Willy considers infallible, Willy’s effortsto cultivate and nurture Biff went awry. Realizing that his all-Americanfootball star has actually turned right into a lazy bum, Willy takes Biff’s failureand lack of ambition as a reflection of his abilities as a father.


To Willy, diamonds recurrent tangible wealth and also, thus,both validation of one’s labor (and life) and the ability to passmaterial items on to one’s offspring, 2 points that Willy desperately craves.Correasonably, diamonds, the exploration of which made Ben a fortune,indicate Willy’s faientice as a salesmale. Despite Willy’s beliefin the Amerihave the right to Dream, a idea unwavering to the level that hepassed up the possibility to go with Ben to Alaska, the Dream’s promiseof financial protection has eluded Willy. At the finish of the play, Benurges Willy to enter the “jungle” finally and retrieve this elusivediamond—that is, to kill himself for insurance money in order tomake his life systematic.

Linda’s and also The Woman’s Stockings

Willy’s strange obsession through the condition of Linda’sstocemperors foreshadows his later flashback to Biff’s discovery ofhim and also The Woguy in their Boston hotel room. The teenage Biff accusesWilly of providing away Linda’s stocmonarchs to The Woman. Stocmonarchs assume ametaphorical weight as the symbol of betrayal and also sex-related infidelity.New stocqueens are necessary for both Willy’s pride in being financiallyeffective and also thus able to carry out for his family members and for Willy’scapacity to ease his guilt about, and also suppress the memory of, hisbetrayal of Linda and Biff.

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The Rubber Hose

The rubber hose is a stage prop that reminds the audienceof Willy’s despeprice attempts at self-destruction. He has actually apparently attemptedto kill himself by inhaling gas, which is, ironically, the verysubstance important to among the most standard elements through whichhe must equip his home for his family’s health and wellness and also comfort—heat.Literal death by inhaling gas parallels the metaphorical death thatWilly feels in his battle to afford such a straightforward need.

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