Preview
Preview

The Character of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1127 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Character of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman


Willy Loman, the main character in Death of a Salesman is a complex tragic character.  He is a man struggling to hold onto the little dignity he has left in a changing society.  While society may have caused some of his misfortune, Willy must be held responsible for his poor judgment, disloyalty and foolish pride.

Willy Loman is a firm believer in the "American Dream:" the notion that any man can rise from humble beginnings to greatness.  His particular slant on this ideal is that a man succeeds by selling his charisma, that to be well liked is the most important asset a man can have.  He made a living at this for 30 years, but as he enters the reclining years of his life, people have stopped smiling back and he can no longer sell the firm's goods to support himself.  His ambition was one of greatness, to work hard and to be a member of the firm; and if he could not succeed in this respect, that he should at least be well-liked and be able to sell until the day of his death:  When his friends would flock from all over the country to pay their respects.

Willy's main flaw is his foolish pride, this it what makes him a tragic hero.  Yet there are many facets to his personality that contribute to the state he and the family are in during the play.  His upbringing of the boys is one major issue, he raised them with the notion that if one is well-liked, he need not worry about qualifications, he believed that if his boys were popular they would come out on top.  Sadly, he doesn't realize that the only way an ordinary person can get rich is through work (represented by Bernard) or through luck and good timing (Ben), and Willy missed the boat when it came to ...


... middle of paper ...


...  Willy says to Charlie:  "Funny you know?  After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive.3"  This statement is a sad reflection on the state of mind that Willy is in due the unfortunate combination of his ideals and the change which has occurred in his society.

Willy is a multi-faceted character which Miller has portrayed a deep problem with sociological and psychological causes and done so with disturbing reality.  In another time or another place Willy might have been successful and kept his Sanity, but as he grew up, society's values changed and he was left out in the cold.  His foolish pride, bad judgment and his disloyalty are also at fault for his tragic end and the fact that he did not die the death of a salesman.

Notes

1 Death of a Salesman page 100

2 page 79

3 page 73


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about The Character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman - The Character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Linda is the heart of the Loman family in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman.  She is wise, warm, and sympathetic.  She knows her husband's faults and her son's characters.  For all her frank appraisals, she loves them.  She is contrasted with the promiscuous sex symbolized by the Woman and the prostitutes.  They operate in the world outside as part of the impersonal forces that corrupt.  Happy equates his promiscuity with women to taking manufacturer's bribes, and Willy's Boston woman can "put him right through to the buyers."  Linda Loman  holds the family together - she keeps the accounts, encourages her husband,...   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
531 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Character Analysis of Willy Loman From Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge - Character Analysis of Willy Loman From Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge Arthur Miller introduces us to the character of Willy through the stage directions at the start of the play. Our first impression of Willy is that of an old, tired, hardworking man who gets home after everybody is in bed. We then learn that he has mood swings and massive dreams. As soon as Willy enters the house we get the feeling that something is wrong with the fact that he is home, as Linda calls "with some trepidation"....   [tags: Papers] 3103 words
(8.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Essay examples - ... According to Willys mind he could “go into 20-30 cities pick up a phone, call the buyers and make a deal” Which was not really the case it’s just him giving his family false hope and believing his own lies. Howard Wagner, Willy’s boss is not a very happy person and was not a big fan of Willy Loman and the way he did business. Wagner gradually got Willy out of the business, first he downgraded him to commission only so he only got paid if he made sales and when that failed as well he eventually just fired him....   [tags: character analysis, Willy Loman]
:: 2 Works Cited
1083 words
(3.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Willy Loman is NOT a Tragic Hero - Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Willy Loman is NOT a Tragic Hero In The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, it is argued weather that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. There are cases for both classifications of Willy. By definition, a tragic hero is a person born into nobility, is responsible for their own fate, endowed with a tragic flaw, and doomed to make a serious error in judgment. The tragic hero eventually falls from great esteem. They realize they have made an irreversible mistake, faces death with honor, and dies tragically....   [tags: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller] 984 words
(2.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Presentation of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller - The Presentation of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Willy Loman is presented as both a tragic hero and an unconscious victim in "Death of a Salesman". "Death of a Salesman" is very much based upon the American Dream, and whether we are slaves or conquerors of this dream. This is an idea that the playwright Arthur Miller has very passionately pursued both through Willy's own eyes, and through his interaction with the different characters in the play. Firstly, the definitions of a hero and a victim very much influence the way that Willy is viewed by the audience....   [tags: Papers Willy Loman Death Salesman] 2041 words
(5.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Arthur Miller's Death of Saleman - Arthur Miller's Death of Saleman On February 10, 1949, at the Morosco Theatre in New York, Death of a Salesman opened. It was immediately acclaimed as a perfect blend of script, setting, staging, and acting. The New Yorker called the play a mixture of "compassion, imagination, and hard technical competence not often found in our theater." Death of a Salesman swept the award field in 1949, winning the Drama Critics' Circle award, the Tony, Theatre Club, and Front Page awards, as well as the much-coveted Pulitzer Prize....   [tags: Arthur Miller's Death of Saleman] 3354 words
(9.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Importance of Ben Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay - The Importance of Ben Loman in in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman      Ben Loman is an important character in Death of a Salesman but he is quite unusual.  The audience encounters Uncle Ben during Willy Loman's hallucinations of the past and as a result, it is tempting to disregard his character as just another creation of Willy's delusional mind.  However, Ben is much more than that.  His character is representative of Willy's unrealistic dreams as well as the realty of his life.  When the audience first encounters Ben (Miller 44), he represents the success that Willy is striving for.  Before the audience learns of the success that Ben encountered in Africa, they see him on the sta...   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
684 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Deplorable Willy Loman of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay - The Deplorable Willy Loman of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman           For those of you that don't know what deplorable means then you need to check out the tragic play "Death of a Salesman", by the American writer, Arthur Miller.  The main character of this story is Willy Loman, who is almost the walking definition of this word. The life of Willy Loman is portrayed as a  tragic existence for these  few reasons;  he was a ghastly role model for his sons,  a inconsiderate and unfaithful husband, he allowed one incident to affect the rest of his life, and finally, he killed himself, when he still had so much to live for....   [tags: Death Salesman essays] 821 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay - The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman       Linda, a character from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is a selfish housewife. She pretends to care about her husband, but in reality, prefers that he kill himself so that she can live an easier life. Linda is given nothing but motive for wanting her husband, Willy, to die because of the ways he mistreats her. For example, during a family conversation in Act I, Linda, trying to put in a few words, says, "Maybe things are beginning to change-," with Willy coming in right after her, "(wildly enthused, to Linda)Stop interrupting!..."(1187) Linda, trying desperately to be a part of the conversation, is constantly denie...   [tags: Death Salesman essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1099 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Willy Loman's Character - Willy Loman's Character Betrayed or Betrayer. Discuss theses two aspects of Willy Loman’s character and comment on how they affect both Willy himself and the other characters’ relationships with him. Betrayed or Betrayer. Discuss theses two aspects of Willy Loman’s character and comment on how they affect both Willy himself and the other characters’ relationships with him. ‘Death of a Salesman’ is a play written by Arthur Miller and first produced on stage in 1949. This play is Miller’s most famous work....   [tags: Death of a Salesman Willy Loman Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
3030 words
(8.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]