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.
Web. 17 Apr. 2014. Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman.
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is about a traveling salesman named Willy Loman who has hit a rough patch in his life. Willy seems to have a normal family, with a wife and two boys. His sons, Happy and Biff, while different, represent Willy in many ways. Willy always strived to be successful and struggled for acceptance, which also represents his sons personalities and outlooks. As Pamela Loos says, “Willy Loman fails to understand himself and esteems a career path that goes against who he truly is,” this keeps him from ever being happy with himself.
Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman follows protagonist Willy Loman in his search to better his and his family’s lives. Throughout Willy Loman’s career, his mind starts to wear down, causing predicaments between his wife, two sons and close friends. Willy’s descent into insanity is slowly but surely is taking its toll on him, his job and his family. They cannot understand why the man they have trusted for support all these years is suddenly losing his mind. Along with his slope into insanity, Willy’s actions become more aggressive and odd as the play goes on.
“From Honors at Dawn to Death of a Salesman: Marxism and the Early Plays of Arthur Miller.” English Studies. 1994, 2, pp. 146-156. Web. 27 January, 2013.
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.
This rift began after Biff failed math class senior year and found his father cheating on Linda. This confrontation marks the start of Biff’s “failures” in Willy’s eyes and Biff’s estrangement of Willy’s lofty goals for him. This estrangement is just one of many abandonments Willy suffered throughout his tragic life. These abandonments only made Willy cling faster to his desire to mold his family into the American Dream. They began with the departure of his father leaving him and... ... middle of paper ... ...rcissistic) Salesman: An Integrative Model of Fragile Self-Esteem.” Psychological Inquiry 14.1 (2003):57.
His grand error of wanting recognition drove him crazy and insane and lead to his tragic death. Willy’s hubris makes him feel extremely proud of what he has, when in reality he has no satisfaction with anything in his life. Willy Loman’s sons did not reach his expectations, as a father but he still continued to brag about Biff and Happy in front of Bernard. Willy Loman caused the reader to empathize with him because before his tragic death he did everything he could for his family. Empathy, Hubris , and Willy Loman’s tragic flow all lead him to his death that distend for him the beginning.
Arthur Miller, the playwright of Death of a Salesman intended this play to be a tragedy; this is what it should be interpreted as. As seen by this essay, it is clear that there is no right and true definition of the genre tragedy; it is as open to interpretation as the literature pieces are. Willy Loman represents a society striving for the American Dream, although he is of little importance in the standings of life. He is not popular or well-liked despite his hopes and dreams. He is a tragic hero who participated in the tragedy of Death of a Salesman.
Constantly, each character escapes their problems with deceit. Even Biff remains in this state of falsehood, until he reaches his epiphany. The main character Willy Loman, is constantly fooling himself into believing that he is a huge success. He often lies to his family about how well he is doing, when truthfully his salary was taken away, and he has to borrow money from his neighbor, Charlie. When Linda asks him about his wages, he replies “I’ll knock ‘em dead next week.” (Miller 36) Willy says this, very well knowing that he will not.