Death of a Salesman
WILLY LOMAN IS A FAILURE
p In Arthur Miller ’92s Death of a Salesman , Willy Loman is a failure . Loman has spent many years as a salesman , but at 63 , he is burnt out . ’93He drives seven hundred miles and when he gets there no onew knows him any more , no one welcomes him ’94 (39 He has several times made gestures toward suicide (40-41 ) Knowing that he is no longer a success as a salesman , he wanders through dreams of times past , when his brother offered him a chance to pursue [banner_entry_middle]
a venture in Alaska (30-32 , 42-43 , 62-63 ) Instead , he stayed with his company in New York , making exhausting weekly trips to New England , where he made minimal sales so that he is continually in debt and has had to borrow money from his neighbor (72 ) With a life dedicated to materialism , he is having to accept the fact that he is a material failure . Early in Act II , when he goes to his boss to request a job in New York which will spare him the ardors of traveling , he comes away with nothing , not only no job in New York but no job at all , dismissed from the company without ceremony after a lifetime of hard work (60-62
The title tells the audience that the salesman will die over the course of the play , and as Willy Loman is the only salesman in the play , this is plainly the story of his death . From the opening scene , we realize that Willy is ’93tired to death ’94 (2 ) not only in the idiomatic sense , but in the literal sense that he is worn down beyond endurance Over the course of the play , we learn why . Willy is fundamentally dishonest . He has built the facade of being well-liked , but it is based upon deceit : he tries to overstate his successes to Linda , although she sees through the facade (21-22 ) He tries to encourage his boys to emulate him , which they do , to the point of cheating in school and stealing a football (25-26 ) He cheats on Linda , and when caught tries to lie his way out of the situation , only to have his son discover the truth at a critical moment (89-90 . He believes he is something important to his company , up to the moment that he is Willy Loman is a Failure Page dismissed (62
In the end , the only way that Willy can provide his family with the windfall that he has promised is to kill himself in a wreck . The final tragedy is that he leaves his wife alone , and leaves his younger son trying to prove that there was some truth to the myth that he was something much more than a dime a dozen guy (108-09
WORK CITED Miller , Arthur , Death of a Salesman . New York , New York : Penquin Books , 1999… [banner_entry_footer]
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