They are the reason that Willy cannot seem to find success, and when he cannot meet his high expectations for himself, he lies and cheats in order to keep the unachievable ideal alive instead of being satisfied with less than perfect. The theme of dreams as aspirations, in this way, is what drives the main characters choices and therefore the entire play. Dreams also represent an escape from reality in Death of a Salesman, many times in the form of hallucinations. It is through Willy’s hallucinations that the audience is exposed to the past and they also provide a window into his feelings of regret. The audience learns about Willy’s affair through his delusional memory at the Chophouse, this form of a
“A searing condemnation of the American Dream” How well does this phrase express the concerns in Miller’s play. It can be said that the American dream and its failure is certainly one of the central themes of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’. Miller tells us the story of an ageing travelling salesman, Willy Loman, who’s success is rapidly dwindling, who’s sons fail to live up to his expectations and who is increasingly haunted by memories and imaginary conversations with people from his past. A significant portion of the play takes place as flashbacks that give us insight into the problematic relationship between Willy and his family and the origins of his failure as he strives to achieve success. Willy has a dream that he refuses to give up even when it becomes clear that his dream is shallow, unrealistic and unattainable.
Death of a Salesman Death of a Salesman begins with an elder Willy Lowman returning from a failed business trip. His comforting wife, Linda, explains to Willy that he should not need to travel anymore, and expresses to him that she would like to see him work locally. From the start of the play, it is evident that Willy’s mental health is deteriorating, as he had an accident previous to the play and he complained about his state of mind. It is also made clear through several flashback hallucinations that Willy experiences. He and Linda discuss their sons, whom Willy is quite disappointed in, especially Biff.
DEATH OF A SALESMAN In the play, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is, at first, set up as the character of the tragic hero. He has had goals and ambitions that he did not fulfill, and that his sons have not fulfilled, despite the pressure that he puts on them to accomplish his opinion of what success should be. However, as the story moves along, we see Willy’s tragic hero status decreasing substantially. As he desperately sifts through his past for some sort of actualization or realization, he only proves himself a to be failure, by the standards that he himself had set. There are a great many comparisons to be drawn from this play, and compared to the novel, The Great Gatsby.
Willy Loman in the movie Death of a Salesman is presented as an extremely insecure man. The main character justifies his life’s failures by lying to his family members as well as to himself. He has conjured a utopic world where he is viewed as a very successful salesman. The man masks his feelings of self-doubt and anxiety with utter arrogance. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep appearances of a macho man image from time to time and this leads him to consult and plead with successful individuals for support and guidance.
He lies and lives on the road degrading himself in every way to attain the friendship with the most people. Willy’s severe dementia cements him as unreliable early on in the play, and it also explains some of the resentment his family feels towards him. Willy is so obsessed with succeeding in the business world and being “well liked” (Act 1, Scene 2) he can’t except that his life in general has been a failure. He replays moments in his life when the world brought nothing but promise and his sons were talented young athletes with their whole lives a head of him. Willy drifts fluidly in between reality and fantasy fluidly sometimes having two conversations at once.
Flashbacks.WL tortures himself with shame over own inadequacies leading to suicide. | Downfall: blinded, exiledOed constantly tries to uncover his past. Asks others.Oed tries to live up to honourable position but past unravels causing downfall. | when virtue does not triumph(efforts to do good do not bear fruit) | Bad judgement callsWL: pins false sense of hope on Biff ("A million! ")WL: pride (relives own and Biff's past glory)WL: avoids the truth/reality, vents frustration with own failure on other charactersWL: ego - makes bad choices (Charley offers job, he chooses not to accept) | Bad judgement callsOed: seeks false sense of hope from Jocata (constantly seeks solace/reassurance)Oed: pride (hubris), forces the ugly truth to be revealed.Oed: actively seeks the truth/reality, wrongly judges other charactersOed: ego - belittles Tiresias, boasts about beating fate | still felt that man is nobler than(tragic hero) | Actions to improve selfWL: effort to rectify failure (vicariously through Biff), achieve success (struggle to provide affluence for family: seeds)WL: suicide (in his mind, it is a noble act - provide a "diamond" for Biff), in reality it was needlessWL: redeeming qualities(good with hands
Dream or Nightmare, An Analysis of Arthur Miller’s Play, Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller’s classic American play, The Death of a Salesman, is an example of the frustration limits some people will push themselves to in order to attain what was the American dream in the 1940’s. Willy Lomax,the primary character, unfortunately lets his dreams overpower his resolve and the unrealistic goals he set for himself consumed him unto death by suicide. Everyone has dreams, but it is hard to realize those dreams if we do not take into account all of the sacrifice and work that it takes to actualize them. Willy takes all of his internal problems and frustrations and projects them onto his family as well, making them collateral victims of his final solution. Success is like fame, it has the potential to only last for a brief moment, and Willy was trying to hang onto his success when was younger and just starting out as his measure of what the future would be.
In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor's fatal flaw was his overwhelming hubris that made him eventually succumb to his death. Pride plays an interesting role in the life of John Proctor in The Crucible. As spoken by John Proctor near the end of the play, "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies!
As an old man, Willy is currently having a nervous breakdown that he frequently daydreams the past and often idealizes it. He is at his best condition when he hears Biff is coming home, but he becomes worst when Biff arrives the house. This contradictory shows Willy’s uncertain feeling toward Biff: he is afraid that if Biff hates him. Willy daydreams not just because he wants to escape from the unhappy present, he also regrets about the past; he refuses to knowledge that he had destroyed Biff’s future by letting him failed math in high school so that Biff couldn’t graduate. Willy always loves Biff and wants him to have a better life.