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Death Of A Salesman Essay

558 words - 3 pages

Throughout the play the Lomans in general cannot distinguish between reality and illusion, particularly Willy. Willy Loman is the main character of the play and often considered its tragic hero. The sixty-something failing salesman grows increasingly insane throughout Death of A Salesman, eventually ending his life in suicide. Willy tries to persuade himself and others that he and his sons are successful, but in the end, Willy is unable to live up to his own expectations (and those of his rich brother Ben, who expects Willy to do much more with his life than he has). Willy very often lapses into a flashback and appears to be reliving conversations and situations that occurred years ago. This it is an ...view middle of the document...

And such a hard worker. There's one thing about Biff- he's not lazy." (Page 1133) Despite this failure, Willy makes the most extreme sacrifice in his attempt to leave an inheritance that will allow Biff to fulfill the American Dream. Willy's philosophy is sound and fool-proof, he feels, but, it hasn't worked for him, or for his favorite son, Biff. Ever since graduation from high school when he inexplicably ignored a prestigious scholarship offer to play football for the University of Virginia, Biff had acted like a restless vagabond, moving from one place and one job to another, unable to get a hold on life. He had also had a run-in with the police stealing, they said. But still Willy believed that his son Biff would become this all mighty successful business man that, Willy himself once thought of himself as. He admits that in times of Biff's life he's 'lost', but he always stands up for him like stated in the quote above, Biff is not lazy. He believes very strongly in his son, even though in reality his son has accomplished nothing at the age of thirty four. Willy's tendency to mythologize people contributes to his deluded understanding of the world. He speaks of Dave Singleman as a legend and imagines that his death must have been beautifully noble. Willy compares Biff and Happy to the mythic Greek figures Adonis and Hercules because he believes that his sons are pinnacles of "personal attractiveness" and power through "well liked"-ness; to him, they seem the very incarnation of the American Dream. Though the rest of Happy and Biff's life they try greatly to become what their father 'pictured' them as. Salesman men, hard working salesmen.

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