April 14, 2009
Willy Loman: The Tragic Hero
The reasons behind why Willy Loman is a tragic hero, in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”, arise from Willy’s own delusions and misunderstanding of the people around him. In today’s world many people have the same delusions Willy has. Many people believe they are much greater than they are because they want to keep an optimistic outlook on life. Unfortunately, once these people do realize the truth they end up the same way Willy Loman ended up. For so many, the American Dream is all they want but for so few, does it come true or happen as planned. Many people and many families fail just as Willy had failed but not all of them end as tragically as Willy’s life ended. Willy’s American Dream was to just be a well-liked and well-respected salesman. Willy believed that the key to success was to be well-liked and that it didn’t really matter what one accomplishes as long as they are well-liked. Willy Loman has a grand image of himself in his head when in reality that is not how people perceive him at all. Most of his family members don’t even see this because they are just as delusional as Willy is. However, his son, Biff, is not quite as delusional and sees the “phony” in his father. Biff continuously tries to bring this up to Willy but Willy continuously tries to avoid this inconvenient truth. For example, when Biff and Happy, Willy’s other son, meet Biff at the bar to discuss Biff’s situation with Bill Oliver, Biff’s previous employer, Willy thinks everything went great and that Biff is going to have great new job with Oliver. Biff is trying to tell Willy that this is not how the meeting went at all. However, because Willy doesn’t want to hear it, he doesn’t let Biff finish many of his sentences. Willy is very ignorant to reality. He does not want to believe any of the truths his son is telling him and the only way he knows how to cope with that is by rudely interrupting Biff. The old...
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