Death Of A Salesman Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
In Death of a Salesman written by Arthur Miller we are presented with a Modern tragedy as exhibited by the Loman Family. The family patriarch and character, Willy Loman disillusionally believes that he is a top salesperson and an extremely successful businessman. Throughout his life he constructs elaborate fantasies to deny his repeated failures to fulfill his desires and expectations for himself and that of his children. These self-deceptions and the final self-realization of the truth lead to Willy’s eventual downfall and subsequent death caused by suicide. The central tragedy in Death of a Salesman is exemplified by the central character and father figure Willy Loman. His weakness of personality, self-destructive pride and disillusioned vision of reality is what ultimately causes him to not realize until the very end the truth about his life. All his hopes for the future and his wishes he had in the past have not been fulfilled. So he tries to build up a kind of dream world in which his sons are popular and successful business-men. But it is just an illusion he lives in. Even in the final scene of the play which takes place at the cemetery, Willy’s dreams of "being well liked and popular" and of having "real friends" were nothing more than a lie or an illusion. Willy′s sons don′t pay any respect to him and even Linda, his "loving and admiring" wife, feels relieved and free after his death.
According to Aristotle, every tragedy must have six parts, which parts determine it’s quality-namely, Plot, Characters, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, and Melody. (Aristotle, Poetics) In a Greek tragedy, an average man like Willy Lo-man would never be considered unless he was a king or God. However, Willy is convinced of himself and feels s...

... middle of paper ..., that he went wrong, this is the true realization. Although, Willy Loman wreaks havoc on his own life and on that of his sons in his final attempts to make good, he tries to leave a legacy for Biff and Happy through his suicide by leaving them $20,000 from his insurance policy. Arthur Miller states, “I think the tragic feeling is evoked in use when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing—his sense of personal dignity. (pg. 1831)
Willy wants to make an impression, to be remembered after his death, to "give something" to Biff and Happy, and his inability to do any of these haunts him. Once he realizes his life has been futile: he is old, has achieved little, and is scorned by his peers and his sons. Willy comes to face, the absurdity of life, and it is for this reason that "attention must be paid."
Get Access