Response to a Critical Essay of the Play

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Section 4 Assignment
Response to a Critical Essay of the Play

Willy Loman, a character in the play, Death of a Salesman, is a man who desperately wants to be successful, but has to deal with many setbacks in his life. He, like most others, has both positive and negative personality traits. The way Willy sees himself, as well as the way others see him changes between the beginning and the end of the play. At the beginning of the play, Willy sees himself as being successful and well-liked. This is partly because he is trying to maintain a successful image for the sake of his friends and family. Willy puts great emphasis on his theory that one is more successful if they are attractive and well-liked. According to him, he is well known throughout New England and can sell things to many people there, even going as far as to stay that he is vital there. Willy is also very proud of the fact that he averages one hundred and seventy dollars in sales in 1928. When he looks at these accomplishments, he feels successful and well-liked. As the play goes on, Willy begins to see himself as a failure in his job, as a father, and in his marriage. In his job, he makes sales calls and feels like he does not know anybody anymore and they do not know him. He used to travel to the same areas and people knew him and would buy from him. Now, he is getting very frustrated because he makes trips and comes back without selling anything. He also sees himself failing as a parent. Although Happy is somewhat successful, Willy sees Biff as pretty much a complete failure. It all starts when he fails math in High School and refuses to go to summer school. He has scholarships and can't use them because he did not graduate. He ends up working on a farm, but realizes that there is not much future in that line of work. Biff ends moving back home without a job. Willy feels like he is failing in his marriage because he has had an affair. He gives time and love to a woman other than his wife. He...
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