There are many symbols in almost every scene of the play. We can pick out some examples for you to know more thoughts that the author wants to show in the play.
1.A melody of the flute: We can hear the sound at the beginning. The flute presents Willy's father; he is a good flute maker and he is also a salesman to sell his flutes on his trip. Therefore, we can find that his father influences Willy deeply even though he didnít know his father very much.
2.Stockings: We can find different stockings are mentioned several times in the play. Willy shows angry and happy spirits to them. Stockings are the symbol that presents Willy's self-worth. Why Willy is angry when he notices that Linda is mending stockings; it is because that Linda's action reminds that Willy's failures on his selling. Willy will feel his self-worth is gainsaid. Willy wants to forget his problems in his work, but Linda knows his failure clearly. What Linda does just want to let more money can be saved, but she doesnít know what she does is just her husband's injury. Therefore, Willy uses new stockings to please Miss Francis (the woman); those new stockings let Willy get short and unreal identity, such as the woman will admire Willy for his presents (new stockings). Willy can get admire from the woman and free his problems and enjoys success that he long for.
3.Alaska & Africa: Willy sometimes mentions the two places; I think that is the symbol as Willy's American dreams and sorry. When Willy recalls Ben's suggestions to go Alaska with him to find out their father; Willy misses the chance, he regrets for this all his life. Then Ben got large fortune in Africa. No matter Alaska or Africa, they mean where people can be succeeded if they have braved to explore, like Willy's father or Ben. Alaska presents Willy's American dreams because that people have fair chances to get fortune with efforts in American wild soil. However, Ben's success hints Willy's disappointing to American dreams, (Ben gets fortune in Africa not America.) Besides, Alaska & Africa are also a symbol for distance between in Willy's relation with Ben and his father. Willy just knows his father by a little memory when he was a baby and something about his father from Ben's saying. He doesn't have closer relationship with his father ever. Then when Willy sees Ben in his imagines; Ben always says that he has no much time and he has to leave. From this we can find out that Willy takes Alaska & Africa as long distance between Willy, Ben and their father.
4.Ben: When Ben appears in Willy's memories, he is dressed well and is quite rich. Willy takes Ben as his model throughout. Ben has more brave and closer relationship with his father. Those qualities are Willy wants to get all his life but he is failed again and again. He is afraid of exploring toward the world that he hasn't been before; he also has no strength to be close with his father. But Ben makes all what Willy wants to get. Therefore, Willy thinks that Ben is his model in his mind constantly and Willy shows certain dependence, especially when he gets difficulties, such as teaching to his sons and poor situation in his job.
5.Jungle: Jungle is the symbol as the real and cruel world. Ben talks several times that after through the jungle, he becomes rich. We know that there are so many wild animals and something dangerous; if we can't get rid of these damages in the jungle, we may be harmed or killed by them. Namely, if we pity for our enemies, we will be hurt by our sympathy. We can know why Ben often emphasizes that he explore the jungle and his coldness to people in his personalities; the author uses a skill to sarcasm Willy's teaching to his sons. Willy just teaches Happy and Biff to figure out their wonderful and successful future, but Willy ignores something practicable and dangerous in the jungle of business world. Jungle also means the business world. There are many diamonds hidden in the jungle; you can't get them without fighting, risks, and youth. That is what Willy lakes of in his personalities nowadays. All his selling life, he tries hardly to build a good relationship with his customers, but Willy doesn't get real success in selling for his friendly and "humor". The jungle of selling world strikes Willy's efforts finally.
Willy's car plays a symbol role in the play. All Willy's life is
related with his car in his selling business. Therefore, the Chevvy
presents the Willy's happiness and hopelessness.
When his sons are young; they help Willy to clean the car and the family
get harmony. Then, the car is given many hopes for Lomans' family.
However, as time goes by, Willy's expectation to his sons is disappointed
and his selling business is also failed. The car becomes the memory
of previous happiness and peace. Maybe this is why Willy wants to
kill himself by the car; he wants to take those bitterer recalls to end
his life. However, we can also think that the Chevvy presents power
toward the selling business; when Willy becomes older and older, he doesn't
have enough strength to make process. The power in the Chevvy let
Willy remember his decay, failure, and despair constantly.