Wednesday, May 29, 2019
The Character of Uncle Ben in Death of a Salesman Essay -- Death Sales
The Character of Uncle Ben in Death of a Salesman The character of Ben in Arthur Millers Death of A Salesman serves a complex dramatic function. He is Willy Lomans real brother, the idealized memory of that brother, and an aspect of Willys own personality, and these distinct functions are sometimes simultaneous. finished his aggressive actions and vibrant speech, the audience is given a strong contrast to Willys self-doubt and self-contradiction. In addition, the encounters between Ben and Willy serve as an extended examination of headmaster and familial morality. Finally, Ben personifies the burden of Willys expectations in regards to both material success and the proper role of a father. The most fundamental of Bens characteristics evident in his language is his haste. visual aspect in the middle of Willy and Charleys card game, Bens first words are, I only have a few minutes (45). He put ons his departure shortly afterwards announcing, Ill be late for my train (52). During hi s second appearance, he declares, I havent much time and Ive got to go (85-6). These lines are emblematic. In the two scenes with his brother that are establish on Willys memories, Ben comes and goes when he chooses, despite sometimes desperate pleas that he stay. This is in direct contrast to Willy, whose life has been structured around appointments and whose livelihood depends on the lenience of near strangers. Because of his position as a traveling salesman, Willy never controls the parameters of his interaction with other people. He calls upon customers and must depend upon their willingness to see him in order to make a living. Willys affair with The Woman is only partially motivated by a need for sexual fulfillme... ...l Ben. The briefness of these meetings also serves to convince Willy of his own unfavorable position by concealing any difficulties that might have existed in Bens life. Ben has exactly the wrong degree of interaction with Willy. If he were entirely absent, h e would not fixing his younger brother so. If he were more fully present, he would either have been of more comfort to Willy, or have been revealed as a more fully human, less mythic character. As it is, Ben serves only to remind him of his past loss, emphasize his current failure, and provide the means of his final destruction. Works Cited Centola, Steven R. Family Values in Death of A Salesman. CLA Journal. 37.1 (1993) 29-41. Jacobsen, Irving F. Family Dreams in Death of A Salesman. American Literature. 47 (1975) 247-58. Miller, Arthur. Death of A Salesman. New York Penguin, 1976.