Death of a Salesman: Willy's Struggle

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"The relationship between an individual and his or her society is responsible of the sacrifices he or she makes." This statement questions the role society plays in the actions and sacrifices of the individual. Playwright Arthur Miller, uses Loman to demonstrate that the troubled common man holds the ability to become a tragic hero. Willy holds the strong American Dream of becoming successful and having a leisurely lifestyle yet he struggles through his entire life trying to fulfill that dream. His stubborn pride prevents him from admitting that he has failed and rather then facing his reality and mistakes, he commits suicide and escapes them eternally. Linda, although supportive to the very end, and Biff who only supported him in the end, were disappointed in his actions because they knew he was better then what he made himself to be. The pressure of heaving wealth in order to achieve happiness is a clear and present bother to Willy. He can hardly find work, and lies to Linda about his income. “I did five hundred gross in Providence and seven hundred gross in Boston” (pg 218). After Linda takes the time to calculate, he comes clean and admits he didn’t do so well. He later expresses that he’s not “noticed”(pg 219), Linda soothes him and says he is doing a wonderful job, that seventy to one hundred dollars is enough and he can do better in a different area. With Linda adding acceptance to his lies and his low income, Willy sees it as less of a problem then the popularity and respect he yearns for. He thinks that without respect, he cannot gain financially because the lack of respect equals less business opportunity. Linda knows that Willy is failing in work and falling behind in bills, though she still supports him. Her disappointment in his failure and insecurity is rarely, if ever shown only to her children, and even then she is still trying to protect Willy’s wellbeing. The fear of abandonment keeps Willy’s mind on a never-ending cycle of regret. He fears...
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