Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman”, primarily focuses on the flaws and failures of Willy Loman, Millers’ main character in this story. Willy’s distorted and backward views of the American Dream, paired with his inability to let go of the past lead him down a road of regret and in the end his biggest failure which was his wasted life.
Willy Loman is No Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman In Arthur Miller’s essay about “Tragedy and the Common Man,” he argues that the common man is as appropriate a subject for tragedy as the very highly placed kings and noble men. Mankind keeps tragedy above all forms because they are given the same mental abilities as the nobles. In “Death of a Salesman”, Willy Loman is a common man and a middle class worker, enough saving to provide food for his family. So if the tragic hero can be a common man, does Willy fit in that category?
Willy Loman's American Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman is the story of Willy Loman, a middle-class salesman who, in the course of a single day, comes to realize that the American Dream, which he has pursued for 40 years, has failed him. Willy's relentless, but naive pursuit of success has not only affected his sense of his own worth but has dominated the lives of his wife Linda and his sons Biff and Happy. In the course of the play he realizes his true position in life, and in a final attempt to secure his personal dignity and provide a future for his sons through his life insurance, he commits suicide. Willy Loman is, for Miller, the antithesis of the classic tragic hero. As his name implies, he is a `low man', an ordinary man, whose dreams and expectations have been shattered by the false values of the society he has put his faith in.
His two sons had to carry upon themselves the ideals that his father placed on them after years and years of living inside his house; “Thus Willy's refusal to accept life on its own terms results in nothing but disorder and fragmentation for those he loves most.” (Scheidt) The Death of the Salesman is an example of the mindset that many people in America had back then, and can allow to an individual to see the desires that we share with Willy Loman in the present time such as cheating, lying and wrong perceptions about
They argue that the character Willy Loman fits the mold of a tragic hero, a misguided man unaware of his flaws who comes to discover them through his journey but ends up dying in a tragic way in the end in grand release of tension. However, Willy Loman doesn’t reach the standard of a high status that is required to be a tragic hero. He is simply a typical man, a simple salesman. Willy is not even great at being a salesman or even a husband and father, the only roles he plays in his simple life. He never comes to discover his many flaws, he is deluded until the very end. The only consistency Willy has with a tragic hero is the tragic end. But the audience does not experience a catharsis of emotions, the audience can anticipate the miserable way Willy goes out but when it happens there is still a lingering air of unresolved misery and , especially for his
The Destruction of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman In the book Death of A Salesman, author Arthur Miller shows how cruel life can be through the life of Willy Loman, the main character. His feelings of guilt, failure, and sadness result in his demise. Willy's sense of pride is a very big issue in his life; he doesn't like people to give him handouts, although he may need them. But the feeling of failure overrides him when he learns about the loss of his job.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Willy Loman is NOT a Tragic Hero In The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, it is argued weather that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. There are cases for both classifications of Willy. By definition, a tragic hero is a person born into nobility, is responsible for their own fate, endowed with a tragic flaw, and doomed to make a serious error in judgment. The tragic hero eventually falls from great esteem.
Family and people surrounding Willy Loman influenced his dreams and motives in life. Willy’s perception about life was carved by his father as he absconded him at the age of four for the pursuit of wealth, which indirectly taught Willy that materialistic gain is a primacy in one’s life and cost Willy a great deal of emotional distress as he says “dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel—kind of temporary about myself” (36). The tremendous amount of Willy’s father’s influence that he has had on his son is confirmed through the presence of his flute sound in Willy’s imagination even to this day. Having materialism as the primary goal in life, Willy meets Dave Singleman, a famous salesman, whom becomes an icon for Willy as he protrudes a very positive and elegant picture of being wealthy. Based on Singleman’s fame and luxurious living at the age of eighty four, Willy superficially decides salesman as his career. However, not knowing how one achieves wealth, he assumes incorrectly that on...
Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Compact Literature. Ed. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. 8th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2013. 1262-331. Print.