Self-Delusion in Death of a Sa

Topics: Success, Mother, Family Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In Arthur Miller’s drama “Death of a Salesman” the protagonist is a character by the name of Willy Loman. Willy suffers from self-delusion and is obsessed with a desire to succeed. Willy’s family is strongly influenced by his actions, which contributes to their own self-delusions. Willy has an extremely large ego and fabricates most if not all of his success. He brags about how much money he makes inflating his sales commissions to his wife Linda. Willy is too proud to accept a job from Charley yet he seems to have no problem accepted money from him to make ends meet. Willy says; “I’m keeping strict accounts” (1683) of the money Charley gives him, but has no intention of ever repaying the debt. Willy wants to be recognized, liked and admired. In Willy’s mind success is linked to how well a person is liked. He exaggerates how well liked and respected he really is and tells his sons Biff and Happy in order for them to be truly successful they must first be well liked. Linda is an enabler and is codependent on Willy. She encourages him and participates in his delusions. Linda is unselfish and her life revolves around Willy and the boys. Despite what she might think or feel personally she tries to influence Biff and Happy to listen to their father stating; “attention must be paid” and encouraging them to participate in his delusions. By giving into Willy, trying to keep peace in the family and trying to avoid hurting him she is actually causing more harm than good. Biff is irresponsible and unable to find happiness. He learned from Willy the way to achieve success is through lying, stealing, and powerful acquaintances. His disillusionment with his father stems from the discovery of Willy’s adulterous relationship and unfaithfulness to his mother. Biff becomes frustrated with his mother when she defends Willy. He rebels against success and authority taking pleasure in defying his...
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