Delusions of Grandeur

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Delusions of Grandeur – An Expository Essay Death of a Salesman Willy Loman’s greatest weakness – and the reason of his unhappiness lie in the facade he has created within himself. Without a father figure to instill reason in him and leave a legacy of any kind, he fixates himself upon the only character that will leave him a lasting impression – his enigmatic brother Ben. As a result, the ideals imbued in young Willy – money, recognition, and ambition, lead him to accept a warped version of The American Dream: the belief that being well-liked and respected warrant success. However, when he fails to sell these values to his young son Biff, he discovers just how disparate dreams and reality are, and brings down his entire family along with himself. Willy’s beliefs and actions stem from his fear of being alone. His desires to be well-liked lead him to raise his sons to be ideal figures and loyal companions – something he never had in his early days. When speaking to Howard Wagner about his career origins, he replies that, “Selling was the greatest career a man could want. Cause what could be more satisfying then to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?” He speaks of Dave Singleman, a salesman who dies on the job, supposedly to the great melancholia of his peers. In Willy’s eyes, he is already immortalized, a martyr who serves as the spokesman for a noble cause. In being well-liked and remembered, Willy is validated by the love of others through ways in which his family cannot. As a result, he overlooks the human side of Singleman, envisioning him as a happy man when in truth he may have been just as troubled as Willy himself. Ironically enough, Willy’s most coveted position of salesman is one he is
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