Willy Loman, the central character in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, is a man whose fall from the top of the capitalistic totem pole results in a resounding crash, both literally and metaphorically. As a man immersed in the memories of the past and controlled by his fears of the future, Willy Loman views himself as a victim of bad luck, bearing little blame for his interminable pitfalls. However, it was not an ill-fated destiny that drove Willy to devastate his own life as well as the lives of those he loved; it was his distorted set of values.
If Willy Loman had valued acceptance over popularity, individuality over conformity and devotion over materialism, he would have considered himself rich in his later years, feeling grateful to have a wife and two sons that loved him; and that would have been enough. Yet because he was unable to appreciate the important things in life, he ultimately opted for death instead, subsequently stealing the opportunity for true happiness away from those who had managed to find their own versions of peace prior to his selfish act.
What is truly ironic here is that the act of suicide is Willy’s warped way of showing Biff that he loves him, yet he never once comprehends the notion that his acceptance and understanding would have benefited his son a thousand times more than any insurance policy ever could. Even if the Loman family had succeeded in acquiring the insurance money, it would not have eased their grief. Thus Willy’s distorted perceptions of reality and what truly mattered to his family blinded him to the things that could have made him and those he loved exceedingly happy. Spouting off rhetoric such as...
... middle of paper ...
...s not a breath of fresh air…The grass don’t grow . . . you can’t raise a carrot in the back yard.” (p. 17), he is basically demonstrating how barren and unfruitful he feels his own life has become. Yet what he fails to realize is that there is beauty all around us if we just now where to look and how to view it. Had Willy been able to grasp what his son Biff was trying to tell him about the true nature of happiness; if he had believed his son that his actions were not perpetrated out of spite, but out of the longing for a sense of self that Willy had never given him, perhaps Willy Loman would not have sold himself or his family short. Perhaps instead, he would had the strength of character to commendably walk away from the biggest sales gimmick of all time; The American Dream.
Arthur Miller, Death of A Salesman, edition: October 6, 1998, Penguin USA
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Conflicted Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Watching a solitary blade of grass will never tell you the direction of hurricane, just as one characteristic can never describe Linda Loman. In Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman is a woman torn between guilt, retaliation, and pity. Her guilt stems from the fact that she prevented Willy from pursuing his true American Dream; she retaliates in response to Willy's failure; she feels sorry for Willy, because he is a "pitiful lone adventurer of the road" (47).... [tags: Death Salesman essays Arthur Miller]
757 words (2.2 pages)
- The Presentation of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Willy Loman is presented as both a tragic hero and an unconscious victim in "Death of a Salesman". "Death of a Salesman" is very much based upon the American Dream, and whether we are slaves or conquerors of this dream. This is an idea that the playwright Arthur Miller has very passionately pursued both through Willy's own eyes, and through his interaction with the different characters in the play. Firstly, the definitions of a hero and a victim very much influence the way that Willy is viewed by the audience.... [tags: Papers Willy Loman Death Salesman]
2041 words (5.8 pages)
- Understanding Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman In order to really understand Willy Loman, from Arthur Miller’s play Death Of A Salesman, the reader must analyze the way his character is developed. Studying his thoughts, actions, how he relates to other characters and how other characters relate to him enables the reader to come to an understanding of the world in which Willy lives. Although Willy sometimes has flashbacks, examining them, as well as his thoughts, helps the reader to understand and relate to him better. Willy had very high, but unrealistic expectations for his boys, especially Biff; he thought that they would be guaranteed success. This is i... [tags: Death of a Salesman]
803 words (2.3 pages)
- The Character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Linda is the heart of the Loman family in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman. She is wise, warm, and sympathetic. She knows her husband's faults and her son's characters. For all her frank appraisals, she loves them. She is contrasted with the promiscuous sex symbolized by the Woman and the prostitutes. They operate in the world outside as part of the impersonal forces that corrupt. Happy equates his promiscuity with women to taking manufacturer's bribes, and Willy's Boston woman can "put him right through to the buyers." Linda Loman holds the family together - she keeps the accounts, encourages her husband,... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
531 words (1.5 pages)
- Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Linda Loman is the heart and soul of the Loman household. She loves her family, even though she is all too aware of husband's faults and her sons' characters. She provides a sharp contrast to the seamy underbelly of the world of sex, symbolized by the Woman and the prostitutes. They operate in the "real world" as part of the impersonal forces that corrupt. Happy equates his unhealthy relationships with women to taking manufacturer's bribes, and Willy's Boston whore can "put him right through to the buyers." In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Linda Loman holds the family together through purity and love - she keeps the account... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
595 words (1.7 pages)
- The Pitiful Happy Loman of Death of a Salesman In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Happy Loman is distinguished by his exorbitant insecurity. He constantly relies on other people's opinions to make his own decisions. His degrading attitude towards women makes him an immature man. The reason his is so insecure is because of the example that is set by his father, Willy. Happy is always following the opinions of other people. Whether it's his father Willy, or his mother Linda, he consistently makes sure that his opinion coincides with everyone else's. When Willy asks Biff if Oliver gave him a good welcome, Happy intrudes, crying "Sure, pop, sure (... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
441 words (1.3 pages)
- The Importance of Ben Loman in in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Ben Loman is an important character in Death of a Salesman but he is quite unusual. The audience encounters Uncle Ben during Willy Loman's hallucinations of the past and as a result, it is tempting to disregard his character as just another creation of Willy's delusional mind. However, Ben is much more than that. His character is representative of Willy's unrealistic dreams as well as the realty of his life. When the audience first encounters Ben (Miller 44), he represents the success that Willy is striving for. Before the audience learns of the success that Ben encountered in Africa, they see him on the sta... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
684 words (2 pages)
- The Destruction of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Willy Loman is a travelling salesman who has worked for the Wagner firm for 34 years. He is now 61 years old and his job has been taken off salary and put on commission. He has a family and he boasts to them that he is "vital in New England," but in fact he isn’t vital anywhere. Willy has many strong beliefs that he strives to achieve. He wants to own his own business and he wants to be "bigger than Uncle Charley" and especially he wants to be a great success and he tries to emulate Dave Singleman.... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
596 words (1.7 pages)
- The Deplorable Willy Loman of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman For those of you that don't know what deplorable means then you need to check out the tragic play "Death of a Salesman", by the American writer, Arthur Miller. The main character of this story is Willy Loman, who is almost the walking definition of this word. The life of Willy Loman is portrayed as a tragic existence for these few reasons; he was a ghastly role model for his sons, a inconsiderate and unfaithful husband, he allowed one incident to affect the rest of his life, and finally, he killed himself, when he still had so much to live for.... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
821 words (2.3 pages)
- The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Linda, a character from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is a selfish housewife. She pretends to care about her husband, but in reality, prefers that he kill himself so that she can live an easier life. Linda is given nothing but motive for wanting her husband, Willy, to die because of the ways he mistreats her. For example, during a family conversation in Act I, Linda, trying to put in a few words, says, "Maybe things are beginning to change-," with Willy coming in right after her, "(wildly enthused, to Linda)Stop interrupting!..."(1187) Linda, trying desperately to be a part of the conversation, is constantly denie... [tags: Death Salesman essays]
1099 words (3.1 pages)
- Willy Loman's Lack of Morality in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
- Failure of the America Dream in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
- Illusion Versus Reality in Death of a Salesman
- Oedipus at Colonus Essays: Revenge
- Popularity and Superficiality in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
- The Character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman