In looking at the characteristics of the tragic hero, it can be see that Willy Loman is not a tragic hero but a victim of a false idealistic pursuit of the “American Dream”. Willy strives to become and instill in his sons the success of the self made man that American society often advertises but ultimately falls short, and instead, escapes accepting his failure through lies and death. What many flaws Willy possesses, most do not correlate with the classic tragic hero.
Willy Loman, was never really of noble stature, as was summed up by Linda, the person who knew him best. “ Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived.” Willy’s harmartia was his obsession with the false American Dream that caused him to become delusional and totally blind of his actual situation. If this is so, then he cannot he commit a true and calculated error of judgment and then his downfall is due to an overriding irrepressible mental condition which cancels his own fault in his downfall. His delusional state of mind blurs reality and causes him to never accept or understand who he is or his downfall erasing any notion that he experienced an epiphany of any sort. In fact, it can be said that he dragged one of his sons with him. In front of Willy’s grave Happy vows to continue Willy’s dream. “ He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have- to come out the number-one man. He fought it out here, and this is where I’m gonna win it for him.” Willy Loman is an example of the middle class man caught as a victim of society where the odds are against him, a “has-been”. As a victim he unwillingly suppressed hi...
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...t, but Ben is also dead. Willy’s father went off to Alaska to find wealth but also ended up dead. In the “Requiem”, Happy vows to finish what his father started and therefore following in his footsteps, “I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain.” He ends the proclamation with, “I’m gonna win it for him.” Three people with the same goal, economic success and freedom, with what can be assumed the same outcome, death. Alternatively, the story of David Singleman acts as an oracle in the way that it foreshadows Willy’s death, “- and by the way he died the death of a salesman.”
Within the past, present and future actions of characters the effects of a preordained outcome are clearly visible. By looking at character relations and incorporating old techniques with more modern ones a dark pattern of design looms over the Loman family.
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