Death of a Salesman is a play relating to the events leading to the downfall of Willy Loman, an aging salesman who is at one time prosperous, but is now approaching the end of his usefulness (Atkinson, 305).
The Rubber Pipe
Throughout the play The Death of a Salesman the symbols used such as the rubber pipe, stockings, seeds, samples and diamonds, effectively demonstrate the various aspects of Willy’s character.
These symbols are important in “Death of a Salesman” because they each represent something that helps the reader connect to the character and their personality.
At first, it is Willy's transportation for work as a traveling salesman; however, it comes to be Willy's mode of killing himself later on in the story.
And by God, I was rich!"
Ben was successful and Willy realizes he was a failure as a salesman.
Diamond = Success
"A diamond is hard to the touch."
Willy wanted to prove himself a success, killing himself gives his family $20,000.
The diamond is what made Ben rich and is a symbol of concrete wealth.
Although these symbols relating to Willy are of great significance, Willy himself probably stands as the most significant symbol in Death of a Salesman.
In relation to the symbolic meaning of seeds in the play, Death of a Salesman represent Willy's opportunity to prove himself that he is worth the effort , in both ways; as a caring and loving father and as a hardworking salesman.
Willy's effort to grow vegetables signifies his shame about barely being able to put food on the table and having nothing to leave his children with when he passes.
As the reader can see, Arthur Miller brilliantly uses symbolism in Death of a Salesman to enhance the story of the Lomans in relation to their family life, the society in which they live, and to themselves as separate characters.