Theme Of Failure In Death Of A Salesman

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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.
Throughout his life, Willy Loman experiences much despair and abandonment which has indirectly caused his failure and affected him as an individual in the end. At a young age, the departures of Willy’s father and Ben drive Willy to lose himself and strive for the American Dream. Over time, Willy buys into the dream so thoroughly that he tends to ignore the tangible reality around him and see only the pleasant results of one’s success but not the practical ability or hard work required. Willy frequently lies to his family about his income and status while keeps borrowing money from Charley, because he still believes he is a hugely successful salesman in his own world of delusion. Instead of acknowledging that he is a mediocre salesman, Willy simply goes into the past and chooses to relive the past memories in which he considers to be successful. Influenced and inspired by a successful s...

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...ands the reality that he chooses the wrong dream in the first place even after he dies. Throughout his life, Willy has constructed many fantasies to deny the evidence of his downfall in order to fulfill his expectations which have ultimately led to his failure in life.
In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller describes Willy Loman as a tragic character who failed to succeed his dreams. Willy never becomes a part of the American Dream, because he is always following other people’s dreams but never his own. He chooses to become a salesman only because he is truly inspired by Ben and Dave Singleman’s successes. Willy Loman, a rather hard working man, might succeed his own American Dream in another career that he is capable of. The fantastic illusions that he himself creates due to the inspiration of others’ successes eventually lead to his failure as well as his sons’.
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