Death of a Salesman: Tragic Flaws

Topics: Tragedy, Death of a Salesman, Suicide Pages: 2 (744 words) Published: January 13, 2008
Death of a Salesman Final Essay

In Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, the main tragic character, Willy, misses accomplishing his joy of being popular and well known because he's blinded to reality by his obsession over how well liked one is. In On Joy in Tragedy, Arthur miller states "tragedy occurs when a man misses accomplishing his joy". He defines tragedy as a situation in which something good could've happened to an ordinary person, but because of their failure to take advantage of it, they succumb to failure and tragedy. Willy's definition of success is by the number of people that like you. "Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest is the man who gets ahead" (Miller pg 33). This type of thinking causes Willy's failure to grab the opportunities presented to him, leading to his eventual demise.

Willy Loman is a mediocre salesman. He has only made monumental sales in his imagination, but insists that he is the best in the business. He refuses to accept the fact that one cannot be successful solely on how well know a person is. He believes that things like naming a child should account for something in business even though his more successful friend tells him otherwise. "Willy when are you gonna realize that them things don't mean anything? You named him Howard, but you cant sell that. The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell. And the funny thing is that you're a salesman, and you don't know that" (Miller pg 97).

His joy and dream is to be so well known and liked that he could make his living from a luxurious hotel just through phone calls. He misses out on this dream because of several reasons. Firstly, he never works hard enough to secure a very good living because he is so focused on trying to impress everyone. Secondly, his rash and condescending character does not allow him to gain the respect and admiration he so badly craves. He gets angry easily and is always...
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