Essay on Death of a Salesman: Dramatic Worksheet


The play is interesting in terms of the psychological tension and fast changing events, which turn the main character from an average man into a mentally unstable person, who attempts to change his entire life after years of routine work and life. The depiction of the life of a small person pursuing an American dream is definitely good. However, the survival of the American dream seems to be naïve, but the author still shows that American dream revives in Happy, even after he witnessed the total failure of his father, who pursued his dream all his life till his last days.


The pursue of an unattainable, unrealistic dream leads to the failure of fundamental values, which an individual may stick to all his life as was the case of Willy, who believed that hard work can bring him success but his hard work, high expectations and poor results led him to mental degradation.


The Great Gatsby is the novel that has a similar premise since the novel focuses on the pursuit of American dream and the disenchantment of the main characters pursuing American dream in vain.


The exposition of the play starts from the depiction of the deteriorating condition of Willy and failures of his sons. Wily has troubles at work and his trip was cancelled and Billy extrapolates his problems to his family members.

The inciting incident occurs when Willy interrupts his sons talking about his mental degradation and deteriorating condition. Willy goes furious about the inability of his sons to amount to anything in their life, while Biff promises to make a business proposition next day.

The climax occurs, when Willy loses his job, while his sons tell him they have achieved nothing again.

The resolution of the play is the death of Willy.

The denouement of the play is the split decision of Willy’s sons: Biff does not want to follow his father’s way, while Happy decides to follow his father’s footsteps.


The play shows the persistence of people in pursuit of American dream, even when they are aware of its falseness.


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