The Tragic Hero In Death Of A Salesman
The tragic actionist death of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman causes suffering to others. Arthur Miller’s 1949 play showcases the mental instability of a man with a failing dream. Due to this his wife and kids are left baffled and appalled. Although his life came to an abrupt end, he left his legacy to be remembered. The American dream sent him spiraling downhill, eventually to his death.
This tragic figure functions as an instrument that causes his loved one to suffer. His devoted wife; Linda Loman, would be one person who’s suffered. Throughout the years she has watched him digress mentally and physically. In the play Linda tries to protect Willy from the truth. This I believe caused her to suffer in the marriage, until his untimely death. Linda tells her sons, Happy and Biff that Willy has been trying to kill himself multiple times. Finding evidence behind the fuse box where Willy was thinking about using a rubber hose to inhale gas and commit suicide. Biff indubitably asks why she didn’t remove the rubber hose from behind the fuse box, she tells him that she would be ashamed to confront Willy. Linda believes that exposing Willy’s attempt of suicide would insult him. She knows that her husband has extremely low self-esteem and doesn’t want to embarrass him by confronting him about his suicidal thoughts. Linda can be seen as an enabler, who allows her husband to contemplate suicide and entertain delusional ideas instead of confronting him. His behavior caused Linda to become worrisome about his attempts of suicide, which is why she refuses to remove the rubber hose. Sadly to say she couldn’t help the person she loved.
Willy caused his youngest son to suffer from his tragedy as well. Happy Loman is an attention seeker. He longs for his father’s attention and praise. Despite his respectable accomplishments in business, Happy doesn’t get any recognition form Willy. Willy’s attention would only be given to Biff; Happy’s handsome and star athlete brother. Due to the lack of attention from his father, Happy began to lie to impress Willy. Happy tells Willy that he’s going to get married soon. Yet, he enjoys sleeping with engaged women, and then attends their weddings with no remorse. All Happy wants is to be noticed by his father. Surprisingly, Happy has obtained similar traits as Willy. Basing his career off of lying and building himself up, while also instilling false confidence in those around him to keep up the false story. Happy believes, along with his career, that happiness is the main part of the American dream, and so he builds up a lie and covers any responsibilities with happiness. Similar to Will, he relies on lies to build himself up rather than allowing his natural demeanor to gain true respect.
The person who has suffered the most from Willy’s delusions is Biff. Willy has always had high expectations for Biff. Unlike most parents who encourage their children about school; Willy encouraged BIff about football, girls, and stealing. Willy put his all into Biff hoping to live vicariously through Biff, and believing that he could become a salesman because of his appearance and likability. With all of this hot air in his head at such a young age, Biff believes all of it. His hopes are suddenly gone when he discovers his father having an affair during a business trip in Boston, which ruins their relationship. Biff gives up everything, passing his math course or attending the University of Virginia. Now as an adult, we learn that Biff had changed while being out West. He wants to be seen as the true person he is. He enjoys farmwork and using his hands, but he also wants to make his father proud. Arthur Miller makes it clear that Biff loves his father and his father loves him. Willy believes his son was unsuccessful because he doesn’t have a career as a salesman. Willy places high expectations on Biff and refuses to acknowledge that Biff’s interests and talents are not suited for the sales industry. The love hate relationship is brought out when Biff tells Willy, ̈ I am not a leader of men, will, and neither are you. Your were never anything but a hard working drummer who landed in the ash can. ̈ Biff wants him to let go of the idea that he ́s go to be anything more than average.
Arthur Miller’s 1949 play showcases the mental instability of a man with a failing dream. Due to this his wife and kids are left baffled and appalled. Although his life came to an abrupt end, he left his legacy to be remembered. The American dream sent him spiraling downhill, eventually to his death. He died as a tragic hero who caused other people suffered. Willy lived his life on a lie, and caused her wife and sons to suffer.
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