All thought the play we get to witness Willy’s brain unravel and his tragic character flaws that all seem to stem from being abandoned by his father and brother. This abandonment leaves Willy with an extreme need for approval and direction but he’s also riddled with fears and insecurities. This fear ruins his character, making him an emotionally desperate and needy man who feels that the only way you can ever be successful in life is if you’re “well liked”. Which is heartbreaking because it becomes apparent throughout that he is not really liked or successful at all but living out fantasy scenarios to soothe the pain. His brother was the man he admired the most but throughout the play Ben is revealed as being a mean, nasty man who believe that being rich is the only sign of success even thought he stumbled upon his wealth thought pure luck.
2014. Jacobson, Irving. “Dreams in Death of a Salesman.” American Literature 47.2 (1975): 246-258. JSTOR. Web.
23 Apr. 2014. http://shmpoo.com/death-of-a-salesman/respect-reputation-quotes-2.html "SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: important quotations Explained ." SparkNotes . N.p., n.d. Web.
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of a man trying and failing to obtain success for him and his family. Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, has been trying to ‘make it big’ for the majority of his life. Miller’s play explores the themes of abandonment and betrayal and their effects on life’s success. Willy sees himself as being abandoned by his older brother, Ben, and constantly views his sibling’s betrayal as one that changed his prospects forever. Willy, in turn, is guilty of a different type of abandonment and betrayal of his sons, especially Biff.
Self-delusion is a major theme, especially in the form of the American dream. Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman self-destructs, because he cannot be happy with what he has. Loman is stuck on thinking he and his sons are destined for something greater. Miller may be suggesting that Americans will always be dissatisfied about not meeting “The American Dream”. Miller had another major theme on responsibility to others.