"Willy boasts that his sons will achieve more than Bernard becuase they are more attractive and bet... ... middle of paper ... ... in Modern Drama,” where he finds all great drama to be concerned with one big problem: “How may a man make the outside world a home?” What does he need to do, to change himself or in the external world, if he is to find the “the safety, the surroundings of love, the ease of the soul, the sense of identity and honor which, evidently, all men have connected in their memories with the idea of family?” (Jacobson) "Willy’s failure is our failure, for we are also involved in the cult of success, and we, too, measure men by occupational attainment rather than by some sympathetic calculus of the whole human being. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must by definition outnumber successes, given our cultural ground rules and or singular interpretations of the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’.”
This furthermore leads to the downfall of Willy and his family, proving that Willy Loman is a tragic hero. To conclude, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller satisfies the criteria for a tragic play because Willy’s pride is a tragic flaw that leads to his downfall. Ultimately, Willy gains enlightenment of his false perception of life and realizes how he inhibits the success of his family. This epiphany leads him to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his family. During his lifetime, Willy’s pride caused him to have an overinflated ego, a bizarre idealistic view on life, and a false value system.
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.
The central tragedy in Death of a Salesman is exemplified by the central character and father figure Willy Loman. His weakness of personality, self-destructive pride and disillusioned vision of reality is what ultimately causes him to not realize until the very end the truth about his life. All his hopes for the future and his wishes he had in the past have not been fulfilled. So he tries to build up a kind of dream world in which his sons are popular and successful business-men. But it is just an illusion he lives in.
This turns sour however, after Biff discovers the father he idolizes was not all he had thought him to be. Afterward, familial dynamics are never the same, as Willy continues to hope that Biff will succeed, ignorant- perhaps purposely so- that his son is failing out of spite, knowing that all his father’s hopes are resting on his shoulders. Willy’s relationships with his two sons are tentative at best, but Happy and Biff are partly to blame for this downhill spiral- as their relationship is just as complex. In the play, “Death of a Salesman,” Willy Loman remembers scenes from years previous, particularly idyllic times when his two sons were still young and full of promise. Willy’s memories focus on Biff: Biff’s chances at success, Biff’s talents, Biff’s popularity.
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).
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.
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman shows us how one man's blind faith in a misconception of the American Dream becomes an obsession of accomplishment that destroys his life and nearly that of his family. Miller's main character Willy Loman somehow comes to believe that success always comes to those who are well liked and good looking. His downfall is that he does not equate success with hard work and perseverance. This faulty thinking keeps him from achieving his goals of wealth and status. His boys Biff and Happy are taught the same faulty values and are destined to fail as well.
The Effects of Male Expectations Male expectations are ever present in our world creating an adverse effect on men making them feel inferior if they are unable to succeed financially. Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman explicitly shows just how harmful these expectations can be to a person and their families. The main character in the play Death of a Salesman Willy Loman is greatly affected by these male expectations. The man is expected to not only support his family but must also be able to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Willy’s inability to succeed financially as expected from society in turn affects his two sons Biff and Happy and his loving wife Linda.
Be liked and you will never want“(33). He dramatically overstates his appeal to his sons, and pretends to be a great man. This delusion creates the roost of dishonesty in which his sons are raised. Biff and Happy feed on falsehoods that deform their senses of identity, their perceptions of reality, and concepts of morality. Willy’s lies ensure that distortions become their truth, dishonesty their trade, and unhappiness their harvest.