Willy Loman’s tragic flaw would be his excessive and unwarranted pride. This is because his pride causes him to live his life in a world of delusion, ultimately resulting in his very death. Willy’s pride first leads him into misunderstanding and mistreating his family, consequently resulting in family feuds and resentment. It then leads him into building his life out of false hopes, consequently resulting in his absolute failure in the business world. Finally, it results in him living an incredibly narcissistic and delusional life; to a point where he believes that he can attain fame and success through suicide.
Death of a Salesman is a classic tragedy depicting a salesman and his attempts in the American dream. The tragic aspect of the story is the pride that destroyed the opportunities that the salesman, Willy Loman had in achieving the American dream. However, because Willy did not grasp the opportunities and took his own path, he ended up as a failure as a salesman, husband, father and friend. Willy Loman is a relatable character because everyone has flaws and make that one mistake that they would regret till the day they die. In this play, all the Lomans are tragic characters who possess a fatal flaw of their own and flaws that they share with one another.
Willy's Tragic Flaw and the Effect it Has Upon his Sons in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Willy's Tragic Flaw and the Effect it Has Upon his Sons Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller concerns itself with the fall of a simple man perpetually in a steadfast state regarding his own failure in a success-driven society. The protagonist of the play, Willy Loman, will follow a tragic trajectory that will eventually lead to his suicide. Arthur Miller's tragic play is an accurate portrayal of the typical American myth that sustains an extreme craving for success and a belief in the illusion of the American dream, a dream attainable only by a handful of people. Having chosen a career in sales Willy Loman constantly aspires to become 'great'. Nevertheless, Willy is a poor aging salesman that considers himself to be a failure when comparing himself to his successful father and brother, but he is incapable of consciously admitting it.
His external force is the change in the nature of business: success through reputation no longer holds true, eventually leading to Howard firing Willy. The last element is that Willy died with the fatal event of his suicide due to the fact that he believed it was a last resort towards his dream. Through the use of these characteristic and thematic elements, Miller is able to craft, to an extent, Willy into a tragic hero whose death was the consequence of his delusions of his dream. Willy Loman’s delusional dream continuously brings him into the past because he cannot accept that conditions of his current life. Willy incorrectly thinks that “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it — because personality always wins the day”, which is absolutely not true and causes him to be a poor role model for his children (Miller 65).
He is the reason for the failure of Biff's life because of his stubbornness. He would not just admit that he didn't know success and decided to lie and act as though he did and for that, Biff was met with defeat in life. Arthur Miller in the story The death of a salesman demonstrates the destruction that secrets and lies can cause and the harm it can do. Deception is the worst thing to do to someone because it can cause the destruction of their lives. Willy Loman ruins the life of his son Biff by feeding him false stories and keeping the truth from him.
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.
His distorted perceptions of the American Dream ultimately ruined his life and the lives of his family. Sadly, Willy definitely failed as a father. He obviously favored his eldest son Biff over his youngest son Happy, and this constant neglect drove Happy to become more like his older brother as an adult in order to win his father’s approval. We can see this through his philandering behavior, something Biff was known for in high school, the golden years. Biff, on the other hand, had it worse because his father sold him lies about his importance in the business industry, which forced Biff to admire Willy and strive to be like him one day.
Willy?s devotion to his family is sabotaged by his misconceived ideas on how love is conveyed, as he attempts to endow his sons with corrupt objectives. Willy?s identity crisis brings him much despair because without comprehension of his true nature his aspirations are inappropriate. Willy?s relationship with Biff is unquestionably most significant in Death of a Salesman, for it emphasizes the theme of self-awareness and its importance in the novel. Willy?s existence consists of a ?patchwork of errors in judgement, mental and moral lapses, and misdirected hopes?, however, Willy?s ?greatest mistake is living far too long with the wrong dream? (Nelson 110).
He is extremely bitter with the primogeniture that occurs within this time period. Gloucester loves Edmund -- he acknowledges that he is his son, which is very scandalous during this time period. It’s an act of love. Edmund does not love Gloucester, because everything he does in this play negatively affects him, and he gets joy out of it. He deliberately betrayed his father so he could gain his title, and he let it go about harsh measures.
He sees himself as somebody who polluted and caused disaster in the city of Thebes. At this point Oedipus is aware of his fate, and how he has lived it. He is now aware of his curse , his marriage, and his murder of his own father. “ Such is the ideal character, the man who is best fitted to attain happiness in the world of men. On the other hand, the tragic hero is a man who fails to attain happiness, and fails in such a way that his career excites, not blame, but fear and pity in the highest degree.