The Loman’s frequently use self-deception to mentally escape the reality of their lives. Self-deception is the process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence. This means the family denies the truth they really live in. Soon enough the oldest son Biff is the only Loman to become self-aware of the toxic reality the family made.
Willy is the head of the household. For the most part everyone looks up to him. Because of him the family lives in the self-deception that they do. His two sons were taught “it’s about whom you know, not what you do”. This shows them to never really work hard, just like Willy did his whole life. He tells them popularity is everything. Willy even tells Biff to cheat on his math test, the one test Biff needs to pass high school. To Biff this shows his football was more important than school. In the beginning of the play Willy informs the family how much his job needs him, and how important he is. This is later contradicted when he is easily fired by his boss that he has known since he was born. The salesman also believed he would have a grand funeral just like Dave Singleman. His funeral is only attended by a total of 5 people. Willy denies the truth so much he soon begins to loose reality. Edward W. Younkins wrote in the article Arthur Miller’s death of a salesman; A Case of self-delusion “He hallucinates and his mind shifts rapidly between past, present, and his imaginings with all three seeming real to him.” Throughout the story Willy loses his mind. To get away from the truth he has flashbacks to the past, going back to the bad things that happened to him, or the wrong things he has done. Written in the article Di...
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...f is trying to explain to Willy that even though he is a hard worker doesn’t mean he actually is someone. This occurs at the end of the play when Biff truly sees the self-deception tearing down the family.
Self-deception involves convincing oneself of a truth, or lack of, so that one does not reveal any self-knowledge of the deception. The family, The Loman’s, which the play Death of a Salesman is based on live in a world of self-deception. They use this to mentally escape the life they made. Throughout the story the oldest son Biff is the only one to realize the cycle of lying through self-deception. At the end of the play, in the requiem, Biff says “He almost never knew who he was.” Even though Charley denies this statement it is true. The family’s self-deception was so twisted that Willy died thinking he was going to have a grand funeral, in reality it wasn’t.
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