Willy Loman as Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

Willy Loman as Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

Length: 829 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Willy Loman as Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
 

The business world of today isn't all `peaches and cream'. The harsh reality of the business world is people are mostly interested in one thing, money. This reoccurring trait we have seen has plagued the business world for a millennia. As seen in the play Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman, the main-character, falls victim to this evil trait. Willy always a hard-worker was fired for his lack of profit for the company he worked for. The injustices dealt to people everyday in the business world can be seen through the experiences of Willy Loman.

The business world has no room for compassion, specifically for the individual. Most companies cut loose those members of their community whom hurt their profits however what about those who do neither? Howard, the boss of Willy, fires Willy on the basis that he isn't being productive. Willy having worked for the company 34 years had gone from making a salary to working for commission. This slump of Willy's is due to the exhaustion of his job on the road. At the age of 63 Willy would have to get up at 3 in the morning, and drive hundreds of miles to places such as Florida from his home in Manhattan to try to make a sale. However, more often then not he wouldn't make one. Howard knew that the road job for Willy was very tiring as shown when he put Willy on commission. However, when Willy went in to see Howard about getting a desk job, Willy was met with disrespect and greed. Howard's explanation to his reason is .".. you gotta admit, business is business." (Act II 60) This quote shows clearly that because Willy wasn't producing anything he was of no worth to the company. However, we know that Howard has the means by which to employee Willy through his references such has having a maid and his recent purchase of the tape recorder. Howard's greed leads him to ignore the fact that Willy has worked for this company for 34 years and has never asked for a favor before. Thus the individual, Willy, was shown no compassion because of Howard's greed and was fired because of it.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Willy Loman as Tragic Hero in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Sep 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=14640>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Conflicted Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- 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]

Research Papers
757 words (2.2 pages)

The Presentation of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

- 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]

Research Papers
2041 words (5.8 pages)

Essay about Understanding Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- 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]

Research Papers
803 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about The Character of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- 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]

Research Papers
531 words (1.5 pages)

Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
595 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Pitiful Happy Loman of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

- 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]

Free Essays
441 words (1.3 pages)

Importance of Ben Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
684 words (2 pages)

The Destruction of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
596 words (1.7 pages)

The Deplorable Willy Loman of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
821 words (2.3 pages)

The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1099 words (3.1 pages)

Related Searches



The ubiquitous idea of `the harder you work the more you will succeed' is proven wrong by Willy through his attempts at success. As seen throughout the play Willy has always tried his hardest. He was willing to wake up early and drive hundreds of miles by himself, to attempt to get a sale. However, lately we have come to find out that Willy hasn't been making any sales. He has been borrowing $50 a week from his neighbor, Charley, to pay for his expenses. We know that Willy is exhausted from driving when he say, .".. I absolutely forgot I was driving... I went on again--and five minutes later I'm dreaming' again and I nearly--[He presses two fingers against his eyes.]" (Act I 3) Willy would be going on these trips and would never completely rejuvenate his energy. It could even be seen while reading when he presses his fingers to eyes as representations of how tired he is from working so hard. Another example can be seen when Willy went to speak with Howard about getting a desk job. As explained in the previous paragraph, Howard took the opportunity when Willy came to speak with him to fire Willy. However, Willy pleaded with Howard to give him his old job back. He begged Howard just to let him keep his job but Howard persisted.

The business world only wants you for profits subsequently you are seen as expendable. Willy having worked for the company for 34 years has put a great deal of time and effort and yet is tossed away. It seems as if because he isn't the biggest and the best that he is worthless and that is exactly how he was treated. Howard showed little to no respect for Willy when they were meeting. Willy comments to Howard that, " You can't just eat the orange and throw the peel away--a man is not a piece of fruit!" (Act II 62) Willy attempts to show Howard that he can't just have him when he was in his prime, you have to take him for who is not who he was. However, Howard chooses otherwise and fires him. Putting Willy out of work unable to produce an income for his family, which thus lead to Willy killing himself.

Although tragic, Willy's downfall serves as a warning to others. This whole play demonstrates that the business world is a cruel and nasty place. Through Willy's experiences we can see clearly that the business world is something that can be underestimated. Willy was a tragic hero who only wanted to be a salesman who was liked. We must learn from Willy's shortcomings and hope to have better luck than he did.
Return to 123HelpMe.com