Essay Example: Personal Selling in Death of a Salesman

Published: 2019-06-10
Essay Example: Personal Selling in Death of a Salesman
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature Sales Personality
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 872 words
8 min read

Caywood et al. in their article relate the concept of ethics and personal selling in business to the events that take place in the life of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. With the foundation of the renowned play, Death of a Salesman, Caywood et al. explore various issues that affect sales managers in the present day and have ethical implications. Based on this premise, they develop an ethical primer to assist managers handle such cases. The play Death of a Salesman is used as a platform to initiate discussion on the various topics that involve ethics and sales.

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In Death of a Salesman, all the events are centered on Willy. Whether it is the past recollections or the present occurrences, Willy plays an active role in all the scenes. The characters all respond or react in accordance to Willys actions. As Caywood, Clarke and Laczniak observe, Willy is what the salesperson of today should not become. His constant inability to differentiate the past and the present hinder his relationship with everyone he meets. According to Caywood, Clarke and Laczniak, for one to be successful in carrying out transactions of any kind, one only uses the past as a platform of knowledge to make informed decisions in the present. When one is tied up in the past, their ability to make informed decisions in the present is inhibited. As observed by Caywood, Clarke and Laczniak, to make the best decisions and take advantage of the present, it is important to strike a balance between the past and the present.

Where one comes from is a matter of the past. The journey is only important for the experience. The experience gained should be used as a platform to make informed decisions not to be relived (82).

Parker, Brian. "Point of View in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman." University of Toronto Quarterly 35.2 (1966): 144-157.

Parker is of the opinion that Arthur Miler may have underestimated the implications of his writing in Death of a Salesman. Parkers opinion is built on the premise of the critical issue that Miller brings out from the play. Parker believes that his sentiments are a true reflection of Millers play due to the content of the play and the manner in which it examines the values Americans hold dear. Additionally, Parker believes that Millers technique is exceptional. Parker relates Death of a Salesman to a more recent work of Miller After the Fall. In his comparison, parker asserts that Miller employs the style employed in Death of a Salesman in After the Fall (Parker, 1966). Parker observes that Miller uses the same nonlogical and memory based structure in the later play. The later play is consistent to the benchmark set by the earlier play. It exhibits a similar skillful use of language. However, Parker faults it as unable to gather the audiences attention by the self-identification concept, which is a common feature of expressionism getting an audience to identify with a work of art, leads to more appreciation of the work. Not only is the experience evaluated in After the Fall less common than the tragedy that occurred to Willy Loman, but also because Miller builds suspense with his much hesitancy in Death of a Salesman. It is evident that in building up realism and expressionism, uncertainty is a useful tool (Parker, 1966).

According to Parker, the audience should strive to understand the perspective of Willy. Willy faces the reality in a manner that is escapist. He does not want to face the harshness of reality and attempts to hide in illusions and memories that have passed and cannot be relived. What this implies is that Willy is hiding from something he does not want to face. He is afraid of facing the brand of a failure and prefers to escape to an alternate reality that jeopardizes his present relationships.

Zorn, Theodore E. "Willy Loman's lesson: Teaching identity management with Death of a Salesman." Communication Education 40.2 (1991): 219-224.

Zorn in his article identifies the use of case studies to explore abstract communication concepts and apply them in concrete situations. Death of a Salesman provides a platform to examine hindrances in communication. Willy Loman gradually loses his sense of logical communication and it affects his relationship significantly. Loman struggles to attain a sense of personal accomplishment and be regarded as a success in the eyes of others. However, his situation is unfavorable and he ends up worse than he wanted. He is left to regret the risks he failed to take despite having many promising prospects.

Loman is the epitome of a symbol of poor communication. As the paly proceeds, Loman increasingly becomes disillusioned from the present and is unable to communicate properly with the people he meets. Willys breakdown in communication can be attributed to his insistence on reliving the past and regretting the outcomes of his life.


Caywood, Clarke L., and Gene R. Laczniak. "Ethics and personal selling: Death of a salesman as an ethical primer." Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 6.2 (1986): 81-88.

Parker, Brian. "Point of View in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman." University of Toronto Quarterly 35.2 (1966): 144-157.

Zorn, Theodore E. "Willy Loman's lesson: Teaching identity management with Death of a Salesman." Communication Education 40.2 (1991): 219-224.

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