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Death of a Salesman Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on May 12, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 2,891 words

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Below is an essay on "Death of a Salesman" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

A Man Apart

      In the play "Death of a Salesman", Willy Loman deals with the realization that the way business and family done in the past turns out to not be translating well into the present. His sons, Happy and Biff, offer Willy no respect or pay him any due as they sluggishly find out who and what they are becoming. Willy believes so much in the way things used to work in the past that he has become delusional and constantly flirts with insanity throughout the entire play. As his grip on reality slowly crumbles and his ultimate realization that the way things have become are worlds apart from what now lies in front of him, Willy slowly slips into a nostalgic sickness that plummets his thoughts and actions into a miasma of turmoil and mental strain that leads Willy Loman to his brutal and eventual suicide. Through Willy's own false illusions of his sons' merit, bloated accomplishments, their un-attainable dreams, and Willy's own delusions of his self-worth and lifetime achievements, the reality that the modernity of the ever-changing world that Willy lives in has caused him to reject it completely, and has forced him to create a parallel universe laced with fantasy and riddled with lies where not only are his sons successful, but he is "well liked" that directly results in his death when the realization that that world he imagined is clearly non-existent.
          Willy Loman does not view himself as an ordinary "Joe", but a man of great reputation and an upstanding citizen. In Arthur Miller's own criticism,   he states that Willy Loman has a problem with the way his life is going along the lines of mediocrity and Willy's hatred of the idea that he is mundane, undignified and unimportant. "The flaw, or crack in the character, is really nothing-and need be nothing-but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity, his image of his rightful status... Most of us are in that category." (Miller,...

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