To what extend does Miller portrait Willy Loman as a sympathetic character?
The character of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's “Death of a Salesman” is very interesting and surely worth looking closer at. On the one hand Miller portraits Willy Loman´s character as very bad with describing him as a cruel man who has a “mercurial nature”(p. 8). He is a person who gets upset very easily and quickly for example when his wife Linda tells him that she has bought a new kind of cheese he starts shouting at her. This also shows that he takes everything really personally and is afraid of things, which are new. His mental state is in a very bad condition since he is often very confused and his mid changes from the present to the past and back.
Moreover Willy cheats on his wife with a woman he met in Boston Through this affair Miller shows the audience how lonely and desperate Willy is. The women appears in different places symbolised with a pair of stockings, which Willy gave her a present while his wife has to mend hers. In general I would suggest that the way he treats his wife is very bad and disrespectful. On the contrary Miller describes him as a man who tries very hard not only in his job he wants to have success but also in only wanting the best for his sons, wanting them to succeed. It is kind of a sad irony that he reaches the exact contrary, because he is just stocked in his dreams while his sons “turned their backs on him” (p. ) and towards the end of the book he even loses his job. All he has ever tried for and reached in his dreams disappears in the hard light of reality. Also there has to be a loveable side of him, which is for the reader probably hard to see, but the way his wife admires him Miller shows that Willy Loman could be and was loved.
I think to understand Willy is in one way not too hard since almost everybody would agree that living in a wonderful dream is easier than facing the reality. On the other hand it is very cowardly how Wily ends...
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