Willy from Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Abandoned and Flawed

Better Essays
The dramatic play Death of a Salesman, composed by Arthur Miller in 1949 portrays the hours leading up to Willy Loman’s death. Willy is a sixty-year-old salesman living in Brooklyn New York with his wife Linda and after thirty-five years working as a traveling salesman he feels defeated by his lack of success and difficult family life. As a salesman, Willy Loman focuses more on personality and being well liked by everyone than actual skills. When he returns early from a business trip it is apparent that he is extremely distressed and confides that he almost got into an accident. 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. We began to see his open wounds from being abandoned that leads to this obsession with needing to be liked by everyone, why he and Biffs’ relationship is so tense and irreversibly broken but also why he’s so disrespectful to Linda.
For the duration of the entire play the reader is constantly being reminded by Willy th...

... middle of paper ...


Bradford, Wade. "Character Analysis: Willy Loman from "Death of a Salesman"" Plays / Drama., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

"Death of a Salesman Characters." Study Guides & Essay Editing. GradeSaverLLC, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

"LitCharts | Death of a Salesman: Act 1 Summary, Analysis & Themes." LitCharts | Death of a Salesman: Act 1 Summary, Analysis & Themes. LitCharts, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

"Looking At Gender Roles In Death Of A Salesman English Literature Essay." Looking At Gender Roles In Death Of A Salesman English Literature Essay. UKESSAYS, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Death of a Salesman Respect and Reputation Quotes Page 1." Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

Stewart, Summer. "Death of a Salesman: Biff's Struggle." Yahoo Contributor Network. Yahoo, 19 June 2008. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Get Access