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essay on death of a salesman

essay on death of a salesman

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Published by Shantanu Mansinghka

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Shantanu Mansinghka on Jan 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/06/2012

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Death of a salesman --- character of Willy Loman and his relation with his wife,sons, friends and his extra marital affair.
Modern playwrights have continued to create characters whose tragic flaws lead totragedy, but these are not usually heroes in the classical sense. Arthur Miller·s ´Deathof a Salesman,µ for example, tells the story of a man whose character·s defects leadsto tragedy and the suffering of others.Death of a Salesman, is a gripping drama written by Arthur Miller, illustrating thesuffering and hardships experienced by an ordinary 60-year old salesman who is on anunusual journey to achieve the American dream. Similar to the numerous early Americandramas, the main character has a dream of attaining prosperity and status in hiscommunity. Willy Loman is an ordinary salesman who believes he will one day be asuccessful salesman. He berates his sons and cheats on his wife. When he loses his jobat sixty-three, he commits suicide.The drama unveils the emotional breakdown suffered by the play·s tragic hero, WillyLoman, at the dramatic moment when he realizes the only way he would be able tosupport his family was to commit suicide so they could obtain his life insurance money.Willy Loman possesses neither great stature nor great virtue. He does not becomeaware of his character flaws. Therefore, he does not meet the classic Aristoteliandefinition of a tragic hero. However, his downfall is a result of his inability to behonest with himself, which is a character flaw. Miller in this wanted to show that in amodern democratic society, heroes do not have to be kings or nobleman and that thedownfall of an average man is just as tragic as any other.No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must face sooner or later.The ways in which one deals with these personal conflicts can differ as much as thepeople themselves. Some insist on ignoring the problem as long as possible as is thecase with our hero, while some attack the problem to get it out of the way. Thistechnique of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman, leads to verysevere consequences. He never really does anything to help the situation, he justescapes into the past, whether intentionally or not, to happier times were problemswere scarce. He uses this escape as if it were a narcotic, and as the play progresses,the reader learns that it can be a dangerous drug, because of it's addictiveness andit's deadliness.. After failing to deal adequately with his feelings, he escapes into atime when things were better for his family. It is not uncommon for one to think ofbetter times at low points in their life in order to cheer themselves up so that they areable to deal with the problems they encounter, but Willy Lowman takes it one stepfurther. His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind he is transported
 
back in time to relive one of the happier days . A time when no one argued,he and hiswere younger, the financial situation was less of a burden, and his sons enthusiasticallywelcomed him back home from a long road trip.Willy is not good with people, he is good with his hands,he is not a good salesman and hechooses the wrong career. Willy often makes up stories or changes the stories heknows because he cannot face the truth of his life that he has not accomplished asmuch as he has planned. Willy's downfall is his own doing which is brought about by hisunrealistic dreams, his pride ,his career choice and his failure to manage life'sproblems. Willy, at a young age, noticed an old salesman who worked at an age of 80 andmade a lot of money. The old salesman took orders from no one, he made his own ordersand everyone did as the old man said. When the old salesman, Dave Singleman dies, allthe buyers came to his funeral. All the people Dave ever knew came. There werethousands mourning his death. From that point, Willy Loman found an awesome dreamwhich he followed the rest of his life. Willy became a salesman in spite of being themost unqualified salesman ever! He never sold a thing. Willy stops seeing the truth atone point of his life and he relies on his own lies to numb his pain. The pain of knowinghe cannot and will not be able to become Dave Singleman. He is Willy Loman, who isgood at fixing the house. He is not cut out for travelling from city to city and sellinggoods to people he has never met before. Willy dramatically dies living out his dream,the dream that never suited Willy Loman.Willy does not allow people to tell him what to do. He believes that he cannot bebossed around and that he is too important to fall under anyone's authority but hisown. Willy's relationship with his wife is clearly a cause of his collapse. Willy neglectsto demonstrate honesty in his relationship with his wife. The reader is told of Willy'spast and how on business trips he would deceivingly find himself a woman to spend thenight with. When Willy is no longer able to make a living he borrows money from hisfriend, Charley, and claims that it is money that he had made. As Willy's conditionslowly deteriorates, he sets up tubing, which he plans to hook up in a fashion with intentof suicide. He neglects to tell Linda how he feels. Due to Willy's lack of honesty withLinda, she too is not honest with him. She is aware that Willy is borrowing money froma friend, but doesn't say anything about it. After Willy is unable to complete a driveto New England, due to his obviously deteriorating condition, Linda avoids reality andmakes excuses for Willy. Linda always puts Willy on a pedestal and refuses to see anyfault in him.Willy teaches Biff and Happy not to take orders from anyone. He thinks this will makeBiff, Happy and himself successful, but he is once again wrong and suffers in his lifebecause of that.As a father Willy fails, he is not a good father for many reasons. First and foremost,he makes his occupation his number one priority. For years, he travelled for hisbusiness so frequently that he never got the opportunity to truly get to know his ownsons. As a result, he could not give them both his love and time as a father. Biff

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