Influence On Willy Loman

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The Influence of Others Willy Loman, one of the few tragic heroes in the modern era, is not very different from other tragic heroes which precede him. Willy, similarly to other protagonists in Aristotle’s tragedies, has a tragic flaw which leads to his eventual downfall. However, Willy’s demise in the 1940s play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, cannot be contributed purely to Willy’s own faults, but also to the actions of surrounding characters. These characters will go on to push Willy into a corner, making it even harder for him to overcome his circumstances, eventually playing a part in the tragic end of Willy Loman. By the end of the play, it is Ben, Biff, and Charley who contributes the greatest to the ultimate demise of Willy Loman. Ben is an important and early factor in Willy’s…show more content…
In Willy’s flashback during his meeting with Charley, Ben explains how he became rich by explaining, “when I walked into the jungle, I was seventeen. When I walked out… by God, was I rich!” (Miller 36-37). Here, Ben hints how his success was due to his brave and wild actions of entering the jungle in a manly manner. Willy is inspired by these words of a rugged man who is well-liked by others, and tries to take on these traits himself. However, these traits are not fitting for Willy’s occupation as a salesman, since at the time, a good salesman was considered a polite man with a few words who was convincing in what they were selling. Willy tries to follow Ben’s ways, acting brash and being talkative around customers, which end up giving him little success. However, Willy refuses to change, and even states “a man can end with diamonds here on the basis of being liked… when [Biff] walks into a business office his name will sound out like a bell and all the doors will open to him!” (65-66). Not only do these words show how heavily impacted Willy is by Ben, but it also
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