Catcher in the Rye, Macbeth and Death of a Salesman Comparison Essay

Topics: Macbeth / Pages: 8 (1909 words) / Published: Apr 24th, 2006
In literature, characters often confront challenges and due to their misconceptions of reality these challenges become complicated by external factors, which ultimately lead to tragic results. Willy, from the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Holden, from the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and Macbeth, from the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, live with false perceptions of life and struggle through life's challenges. Willy struggles with the challenges of his life by lying, causing him to suffer because of how he defines success. Holden is upset with the world and tries to become a savior to future generations. While Macbeth's ambitions dominates his life resulting in an inflated ego transforming him from an honorable soldier into a crazed tyrant. When faced with challenges, these characters fight to be who they imagine they are, yet due to conflicts they ultimately fail.
One problem Willy has is that he does not take responsibility for his actions; this problem only gets worse because of his lies. Biff looks up to Willy, so when he finds out that Willy has an affair in Boston, Biff is petrified. Biff realizes his hero, dad, the one he wants to impress, is a phony and a liar. Willy destroys Biff's dream of playing football by saying he does not have to study for the math regents, he also Willy telling Bernard to give Biff the answers. When Biff fails the regents, he does not want to retake the test because he is so disgusted with his hero and does not want to succeed. Not only did Willy destroy Biff's dream, he also broke his vows and refused to admit it. Biff is a failure, in Willy's eye, in most part due to Willy and what happened in Boston. Willy refuses to take responsibility for what he did, so he lies about Biff. Willy tells Bernard that Biff has been doing great things out west, but decided to come back home to work on a "big deal". Willy knows that Biff is a bum who has not amounted to anything, but he refuses to take

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