preview

Theme Of Superego In Death Of A Salesman

Better Essays
During the 1890s, Sigmund Freud introduced the psychoanalytic theory which stated that one’s psyche is governed by the id, ego and superego. It is evident that in Death of a Salesman, this psychological lens can be applied to Willy Loman in order to understand his actions and thoughts. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is about a delusional salesman who wishes to fulfill the American Dream and his dysfunctional family who do not live up to his expectations. Through the psychoanalysis of Death of a Salesman, it is evident that Willy’s personality is a product of his id, ego, and superego. This is portrayed through the frequent examples of an impulsive id, a powerful superego and the defense mechanism his ego utilizes in order to deal with…show more content…
Willy’s superego is constantly creating a scenario of the American Dream for him since that is what is expected by society. Willy says, “'You wait, kid, before it's all over we're gonna get a little place out in the country, and I'll raise some vegetables, a couple of chickens ... And they’ll get married, and come for a weekend. I'd build a little guest house. ... I could build two guest houses, so they'd both come.’” (Miller 72) This is the vision that Willy has in mind when he thinks of the American Dream. This vision was strongly influenced by the pressure that society puts on its member to be financially successful and have a happy family. Due to this pressure, Willy’ superego feels the need to pursue this vision and fulfill the American Dream. This is because the superego is constantly trying to follow the norm of what is socially acceptable. In addition, Willy’s superego is displayed when Linda is mending her stocking and he gets angry at her for doing so. The book states, “‘Willy: What’s that?’ ‘Linda: Just mending my stockings. They’re so expensive...’ ‘Willy: I won’t have you mending stockings in this house! Now throw them out!’” (Miller 39) This is Willy’s superego taking action…show more content…
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller highlights the result of an unfulfilling life through Willy Loman’s pursuit of an unrealistic American Dream and the effects it creates on himself as well as his family. This story has many strong examples which prove the psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud and his concept of the human
Get Access