Winnie Zhong 2/13/2014 English 10 Dr. Lupardo Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller in 1949, is a play attempts to identify and validate the “tragic flaw” of a common man. It is a tragedy describing the consequences arose between a family’s American dream and the reality of their lives. Willy Loman, the main character, is bought into an extreme obsession of the American Dream or the success in becoming a “well liked” salesman. However, after having done everything in order to achieve and live the dream, Willy Loman fails to receive the success promised by it. Throughout the play, the most important reason causing Willy’s failure in achieving his goal seems to be his own inability to recognize the unpleasant reality while continually living in a slanted fantasy that his mind has created.
He often has hallucinations of past happier memories where he reminisces about those times. Willy’s mind seems to be full of illusions and he has trouble determining what is real and what he’d like to be real. There are times when he talks to himself and has conversations with his deceased brother Ben. During the hallucinations when Willy is talking to Ben it seems that he wants to be like Ben who was rich and successful. Willy has two sons, Biff and Happy but he seems to focus more on Biff.
The Loman’s complicated views of success make it hard to achieve happiness: Willy and Happy are focused on Willy’s dream of money and popularity, while Biff is willing to tell the truth, and admit that being a salesman is not the right job for any of them. Willy’s idea that success comes from popularity and wealth is something he just can’t achieve, and he has been lying to himself for so long that he has become delusional. Willy’s dreams of success are inspired by the life of his deceased brother Ben who quickly became a very wealthy man in life. Ben being his hero, bringing Willy to build his own twisted definition to success that is closely related to the classic “American dream”. To Willy, success means wealth, a happy family, big house, popularity, and to be praised.
According to the statement “I am not the leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were anything but a hard working drummer who landed in the ash-can like all the rest of them”. Biff’s observation was that he sees his father as a failed to achieve, although he work hard to success. Willy loves Biff his oldest son since he was at school. In his mind he was thinking that Biff will become a successful man in life, but it didn’t happen’.
However, he is self-conscious and attempts to make himself feel more superior. This results in Willy lying to himself that he is a successful businessman who is exceedingly popular and sells products frequently. Regardless of Willy’s efforts, it becomes evident that he is not well liked, famous and is also neglected in the business society. Moreover, the play specifically exemplifies that his sales are declining as he is growing older. He is not the same energetic human being he was thirty-four years ago because he is not capable of driving to the destination of Boston, where he usually ventures anymore and he cannot sell anything.
While society can be blamed for much of Willy’s misfortune, he must also be blamed for his bad judgement, disloyalty and his foolish pride. Willy Loman’s own delusions are a result of his failure to succeed in life. He still believes he is popular, respected and good-looking. But at age sixty-three, he is none of those. When presented with a bill he knows he cannot pay, Willy convinces himself that a sales trip to Hartford will solve his problems.
(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."
Analysis of Death of a Salesman by Arthur m Characters The main character in the play is the salesman, Willy Loman. He constantly has “daydreams” in which he remembers memories of when he was more successful (in business and in his home life). These daydreams are the conflict throughout the play since they cause him to forget the real world, where his life is actually failing. His charisma is no longer there the way he claims it is, and his children don’t respect him anymore. He also loves to stroke his own ego, yet he is secretly insecure and fragile.
This turns sour however, after Biff discovers the father he idolizes was not all he had thought him to be. Afterward, familial dynamics are never the same, as Willy continues to hope that Biff will succeed, ignorant- perhaps purposely so- that his son is failing out of spite, knowing that all his father’s hopes are resting on his shoulders. Willy’s relationships with his two sons are tentative at best, but Happy and Biff are partly to blame for this downhill spiral- as their relationship is just as complex. In the play, “Death of a Salesman,” Willy Loman remembers scenes from years previous, particularly idyllic times when his two sons were still young and full of promise. Willy’s memories focus on Biff: Biff’s chances at success, Biff’s talents, Biff’s popularity.
Willy's hopes and dreams make him a selfish and dishonest person. Throughout the play the Loman's cannot tell the difference between reality and dreams. Willy is lost in false dreams. He's working but not earning enough money to pay his bills. As he gets older, he has trouble working out the difference between the past and present and is often having flashbacks.