Death of a Salesman is a tragic story of a man and his delusional dreams. Willy Loman, the main character, symbolizes everyone who has ever fallen short of their dreams in our society of capitalism. The story really shows how the strive for success can ultimately be our downfall. Various characters in the story represent the difference between failure and success within our system. Willy Loman's problems stem from his own delusions, and his quest for material happiness eventually takes his life.
Considering Willy's goal in life is to be considered successful and well-liked by others, it's not a surprise that his dreams turn out to be his downfall. This symbolizes the brain washing that goes on in our capitalistic society to this day. Other types of religion/society places much less stress on making money and a lot more stress on being content with what you have. Although Willy Loman was struggling financially, he never realized what he actually had: a great family who loved him dearly. Willy had a strong belief that simply being well-liked can get you whatever your heart desires. In our capitalistic society, that is far from true. He was trying to sell himself, not his product. Charley and Bernard, who have success but not personality, prove that Willy's belief is far from right. Willy never realizes this, and goes to his grave never realizing where he went wrong.
Another problem Willy had was his false sense of importance in the world. This characteristic followed him to his death bed. Willy believed his funeral would be a major event that many would attend to pay tribute to one of the greatest salesman to ever live. Few actually show up for it. When you believe something so strongly for so long, coming to the realization that it is not true can be extremely hard on ones ego. His personality and qualities are almost child-like in some ways. Even at his age, he still has childish dreams of being the almighty rich man whom everyone loves.