This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Willy Loman, An Idiot With A Dream In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

1198 words - 5 pages

Willy Loman, An Idiot with A Dream in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

    A common idea presented in literature is the issue of
the freedom of the individual in opposition to the
controlling pressures of society. Willy Loman, the main
character in Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller,
epitomizes this type of person; one who looks to his peers
and co-salesman as lesser individuals. Not only was he
competitive and overbearing, but Willy Loman sought after an
ideal that he could never become: the greatest salesman
ever. Determined to make money, Willy became uncontrollable
and somewhat insane. Through his dialogue and actions,
Willy Loman portrays a character of ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately, when Willy
died, not a single person went to his funeral. His life,
one that was spent trying to become another person, namely
Dave Singleman, was a waste as no-one even wanted to see him

    In reflection of his career with the Wagner Company,
many other problems arose that forced economic difficulties
on him and his family. He was determined to live by ideals
that placed him above everyone else. It was with these lies
and illusions that Willy's life began to lose its' air of
reality. He lost his identity, courage, and dignity
throughout New England as a salesman. And as he explained
often, "I have friends...They know me up and down New
England." Realistically, though, Willy was not successful.
He did not have friends and people did not like him in New

    "With his self-identity weakened and undermined, Willy
lost his grasp of things in general." (P.P Sharma, critical
analysis) He spent hours on hours dreaming of the past.
Thinking of himself and his son Biff who had potential, but
did not take advantage of it. Biff was Willy's inspiration
as a father. He had the determination to become a great
football player, not to mention make something with his life
and the Loman name. However, Biff flunked math and threw
all of his opportunities away. It was with these
circumstances that Biff and his father began to separate.
Willy always promised his sons prosperity and good-fortune,
but he could not give that to him and when he lost Biff, his
life became an even larger failure.

    In other memories and illusions, Willy often replays
the moments with his brother, Ben. Specifically, the time
when Willy was offered a job in Alaska; the job which would
have made him an enormous amount of money haunts Willy every
time he tries to sell his Wagner stockings, only to have his
sales come up lame. With low sales and age, Willy decided
to ask for a job in New York. And it was at this time that
his company decided to stop paying by salary, but solely on
commission. And for a man who cannot sell well, the loss of
a salary is very detrimental to his well-being. "Although
Willy is aware, maybe dimly and imperfectly, that he is not
cut out for success in the world of trade and commerce, he
nevertheless nurses the dream of getting the better of
everybody else. And this leads him into an alienation from
himself, obscuring his real identity." (P. P. Sharma,

Other Essays Like Willy Loman, An Idiot With A Dream In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

Arthur Miller's Death Of a Salesman Exposes Morals and Values of American Culture

1128 words - 5 pages Arthur Miller's Death Of a Salesman Exposes Morals and Values of American Culture Arthur Miller's play, "Death Of a Salesman" is a very   elaborate play that tells the story of a man's dream to achieve greatness from nothing. It almost seems to make fun of American society's competitive nature, "Imagine? When the mail comes he'll be ahead of Bernard again!" Willy(1215)        The title "Death Of a Salesman" leaves nothing to the

Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman And Sophocles' Oedipus The King

1806 words - 8 pages Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Sophocles' Oedipus the King      An overwhelming desire for personal contentment and unprecedented reputation can often result in a sickly twisted distortion of reality. In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, a man well-known for his intellect and wisdom finds himself blind to the truth of his life and his parentage. Arthur Miller's play, The Death of a Salesman, tells of a tragic character so wrapped up

The American Dream Demonstrated in Death of a Salesman and the Great Gatsby

1602 words - 7 pages success, wealth, and fulfillment. The characters Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman exhibit the literary use of alienation by their failed attempts at the American Dream in the forms of alienation from nature, labor, community, and themselves. In Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth, success, and fulfillment, he detaches himself from society and is alienated from the community, nature, labor, and himself. Jay Gatsby

Comparing Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller And Fences By August Wilson

1305 words - 6 pages insecure father figure, the "other woman," and the garden. The fathers in the two plays are comparable because they both have conflicts with their sons as a result of living in the past, and they die in the end. Willy, in Death of a Salesman, is never respected for his occupational status, so he places very high expectations on his son, Biff. Willy lives in the memory of past events to such a large extent that he cannot distinguish fantasy

Death of a Salesman

1168 words - 5 pages works to explore the idea of human suffering in order to connect with the audience and gain the sympathy of the crowd. This type of literary genre contains a tragic hero, who encounters an event, or possesses a tragic flaw, that will inevitably led to the downfall of that character. Miller’s play is considered to fulfill the genre of a tragedy as Willy Loman, the main character, plays the role of a lowly salesman and the tragic hero. Miller directly

Death Of A Salesman

948 words - 4 pages Critical Essay – Drama      The idea that any person can rise from humble beginnings to greatness is the basis of the American Dream. Arthur Miller paints a harsh picture of this ideal in the drama Death of a Salesman. The main character, Willy Loman, is a complex and tragic figure. He is a man striving to hold onto what dignity he has left in a world that no longer values the beliefs he grew up with. While

Death of a Salesman

1237 words - 5 pages Death of a Salesman There are some who would argue that it is precisely the ultra-capitalist mentality of individuals like Willy Loman that has propelled the American Economy to global dominance, but Arthur Miller’s classic work “Death of a Salesman” begs the question: at what cost? What does it do to a person, this desperate need to “be number one man?” Each of Willy’s sons draw a different lesson from his life and their assertions about

Death of a Salesman

1067 words - 5 pages . Similarly, Willy finally comes to the painful realization that he truly cannot support his family. True to form, he comes up with another scheme, but this one ends tragically. He commits suicide in order for Biff to get the twenty thousand dollars from his life insurance. Sadly, even at the end of the play, Willy’s death affects no one but his family. An idol of Willy’s, was salesman Dave Singleman, who at eighty-four,”…died and hundreds of

Death of a Salesman - 1657 words

1657 words - 7 pages Death of a Salesman The play Death of a Salesman (DOAS) by Arthur Miller, written in 1949, focuses on the life and actions of the Loman family in the heart of Brooklyn. The man of the house Willy and his two sons Biff and Happy are the most interesting of the bunch, since they are very much alike on the surface, but oh-so different on the inside. Willy Loman, the main protagonist (and antagonist) of DOAS, is your usual patriotic father

Death Of A Salesman

889 words - 4 pages The Dysfunctional Family      In Arthur Miller’s drama, “Death of a Salesman” the protagonist is a sixty-year-old salesperson by the name of Willy Loman. Willy suffers from self-delusion and is obsessed with the desire to succeed. Willy’s actions strongly influence his family, which contributes to their self-delusions. Willy’s wife Linda is an enabler and is codependent upon him. Linda encourages and participates in

Death of a Salesman - 961 words

961 words - 4 pages The madness of Willy Loman the Salesman As the story of “Death of a Salesman” by Authur Miller unfolded it became clear that that the main charter Willy Loman is losing his mind. It all seems to begin when Willy starts having flashbacks of an earlier life. The flashbacks quickly turn into a nightmare, and just the sound of the woman’s laughter can set Willy off. Eventually, Willy’s madness destroys his life and everyone around him. He sits

Related Papers

The American Dream In Arthur Miller's "Death Of A Salesman"

1084 words - 5 pages "Death of a Salesman" is centered around one man trying to reach the American dream and taking his family along for the ride. The Loman's lives from beginning to end is a troubling story based on trying to become successful, or at least happy. Throughout their lives they encounter many problems and the end result is a tragic death caused by stupidity and the need to succeed. During his life Willy Loman caused his wife great pain by living a life

Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

2092 words - 9 pages Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman was written after the second World War while the American economy was booming. Society was becoming very materialistic, and the idea that anyone could “make it” in America was popular. These societal beliefs play a large part in Death of a Salesman, a play in which the main character, Willy Loman, spends a lifetime chasing after the American Dream. Willy

A Tragic Hero Of A Salesman Tragic Heroism In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

574 words - 3 pages Death of a Salesman is the tragic story of one man and his struggle to fulfill the Americandream and take his family along with him. Since the story is tragic, what would a tragedy bewithout the title character, himself, dying? Well, probably just a sad story. So, it happens, butwe have to wonder, is Willy Loman a tragic hero? Arthur Miller says a tragic hero is "Thetragic feeling...invoked whenever we are in the presence of a character, any

Arthur Miller's Definition Of A "Tragic Hero" In Death Of A Salesman

954 words - 4 pages ' position in his society" and in doing so, struggles for his dignity. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman gives a perfect example of tragedy in the common man with the character Willy Loman, who, in his fear of being displaced, his struggle to fix his problems, and in his death as a plea for dignity, can be considered a modern tragic hero."...From this total onslaught by an individual against the seemingly stable cosmos...from this total examination