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.
Alas, Okonkwo’s successful life is marred by his continuous mistakes as the novel progresses. I believe the reason things fall apart for Okonkwo little by little is because he does not learn to balance his outward persona with his inner self. Okonkwo’s monomania is his hatred for what his father, Unoka, stood for. He is so blinded by his hatred for his father that he ignores his father’s words of wisdom. His sick father had said to him “Do not despair.
Ethan, while he is flawed, is also a victim of circumstance The tiny town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, formed the backdrop for Edith Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome, an intense novel that moves the ill-starred trio of main characters towards their tragic destinies. Of the main characters, the eponymous Ethan Frome is flawed, both physically and in lack of ability to communicate with everybody. Undoubtedly, however, misfortune and circumstance riddled Ethan’s world: crushing his dreams of becoming an engineer and restricting him to a life in Starkfield. Described through the eyes of the omniscient narrator, Ethan was a man whose “lameness checked each step like a jerk of a chain” and who seldom interacted with the townspeople. Highlighted within the opening two pages, Ethan’s flaws (both physical and of character) made him quite a distinguishable character in Starkfield and whilst everyone “gave him a greeting,” his taciturnity was respected and it was only on “rare occasions” that anyone ever stopped him for a word.
In the story the Narrator says to Doodle “Well, if you don’t keep trying, you’ll never learn” (page unknown). Being impatient made the Narrator push his brother beyond his limit and eventually lead to his death. The Narrator is also a cruel person. Ironically, the only person the Narrator was cruel towards was his brother. In the story the Narrator says “There is within me (and with sadness I have watched it in others) a knot of cruelty borne by the stream of love, much as our blood sometimes bears the seed of our destruction, and at times I was mean to Doodle” (page unknown).
The insurmountable disappointment of Paul’s mediocrity is too much for him to bear. This fact bores into his soul, causing Paul to lose his will to live. His frustration is the basis of Willa Cather’s short story, “Paul’s Case.” She uses selection of detail, diction, and symbolism to brilliantly characterize Paul as an ordinary boy who can not cope with his inability to achieve his goal. Willa Cather uses her selection of detail to show the average qualities Paul possesses. The features Cather exploits tell a lot about Paul’s character.
Even his father’s death has brought shame to Okonkwo. So he strives to be a successful and affluent man and through his hard work and determination he becomes one. Achebe’s diction in this quote allows the reader to realize the seriousness of Oknonkwo’s fear of failure. For example,” It was deeper and more intimate than the fear of evil.” This alone shows that his fear of failure is ultimately going to lead to his downfall because failure is what makes him this man who is afraid to show any feelings that will be seen as “agbala” which means womanly. This fear throughout the novel causes him to make rash and impetuous decisions in order to achieve a high stature in the tribe.
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
These three texts help us explore the desire to belong to anything especially family or school. The poem ‘St Patrick’s College’ by Peter Skrynecki is about a young boy in high school and the problems he faces. A search for belonging is seen throughout the entire poem but especially in the second stanza where the persona says, “I stuck pine needles into the motto”, with the representation of first person this statement reinforces the persona’s lack of understanding for religion and education. Being adolescents we all should understand the frustration of feeling like education doesn’t signify you as a person. Again in the second stanza we see the persona feeling unwanted and unneeded, within his school.
This clearly shows an example of how destructive shame can be on someone’s life. Some people can overcome shame and redeem them selves but to other people it can destroy their whole life. Another character form the book that experiences the tragedy of shame is Baba. Thru out the book it is revealed to us that Hassan is also Baba’s son. Baba feels ashamed of being Hassan’s father because he kept it a secret to everyone for all this time.
John’s motive, actions and conflicts cause him to be a dynamic character; shown by how he fights for his marriage, his innocence, his reputation, and his beliefs. More importantly, John tries to subsequently fight for his rights and the rights of others, eventually giving in to death, in his battle with the truth. John Proctor’s guilt was a major motivator for him in a sense that he considered himself to be a fraud and wanted to tell people his dark secret. His guilt was derived from a few things; he had sinned, he was sorry for what he did, and he felt it was his fault. He is a man who is riddled with guilt from sinning; Also, John is eager to keep a respectable reputation.