Death of a Salesman


Arthur Miller

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Flute Symbol Icon
The flute music that drifts through the play represents the single faint link Willy has with his father and with the natural world. The elder Loman made flutes, and was apparently able to make a good living by simply traveling around the country and selling them. This anticipates Willy's career as a salesman, but also his underused talent for building things with his hands, which might have been a more fulfilling job. The flute music is the sound of the road Willy didn't take.
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Flute Symbol Timeline in Death of a Salesman

The timeline below shows where the symbol Flute appears in Death of a Salesman. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nature vs. City Theme Icon
...small backyard, looks fragile next to the tall apartment buildings that surround it. A soft flute melody is playing in the background. It is a Monday evening. (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Nature vs. City Theme Icon
...very wild-hearted man," who traveled through America in a wagon with his family, selling the flutes that he made. He says that their father made more money in a week than... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Nature vs. City Theme Icon
Abandonment and Betrayal Theme Icon
Biff enters, and supporting Linda, leads her away. All the characters exit the stage as flute music plays, and the final image is of the apartment buildings that surround the Loman... (full context)