Loman's Cave of Reality

Topics: Denial, Truth, Psychological projection Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: April 26, 2012
Denial is known to harm many people, families, and communities that live obliviously to reality. The theme of denial plays an important role in the play, The Death of the Salesman. In this play, Willy Loman, the main character, lives his entire life in denial. His view on being successful is deeply disoriented compared to what actual success is. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave relates to Willy Loman’s logic because it can be said that the Loman family is in the cave. The Lomans are abstracted to the truth; frankly, they do not take personal thoughts into account. After analyzing the play using a psychological perspective, it is evident that the Loman family is in the cave.

From the beginning of the play, Willy Loman believes in the American Dream. The Willy Loman version of the American Dream consists of being “well-liked.” For him, that is the key to success. This angle of thought is then passed on to his two sons, Biff and Happy. From a young age Willy taught the boys that it is more important to be “well–liked” than to be academically advanced. For Willy there was nothing more important than the charisma that will help you succeed in life. The psychological perspective helps to see why he would believe this. For Willy, this was his motto because he was a salesman. In order to make sales and gain profit, not only did he need to sell products, but also to have a charm that consumers could not turn down. For example in the play, Willy is telling Biff about how so many people know him and like him. By sharing this with Biff, he was teaching him that a social life is more important than academics and profession. Willy believed in being the ideal image of a salesman instead of the reality of enduring the role a father, husband and worker, all together. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the people inside the cave were oblivious to the outside world. Even though the outside world was reality, for them reality was what was shown to them; the shadows. Due to the...
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