Willy Loman – A Tragic Hero In The Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller
Many stories have a hero that is fortunate to overcome their problems, although some have flaws and meet tragic ends. In the Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman is conveyed as a tragic hero as he loses his battle against mental stability and family conflicts. Willy doesn’t admit that he’s old to work, which leads to him traveling to far places to sell products which his body is not capable. Willy is a tragic hero rather than mentally ill, because he is struggling to hold morality that has left in society which does not values the standards he grew up accepting.
Willy’s relationship with Linda is a very complex relationship, she enables and supports Willy’s fantasies and dreams. Plus she defends him against the criticism that others makes about Willy. In Act I, Willy is worried about traveling far places to sell products. After Linda finds out about his problems, she quotes, “Willy, dear. Talk to them again. There’s no reason why you can’t work in New York…..why don’t you go down to the place tomorrow and tell Howard…..you’re too accommodating dear.”After a long conversation with Linda, Willy decides to finally confront Howard, his boss in New York. Once he arrives at his office, Howards asks Willy if he is supposed to be on a sales job in Boston, and then pursued to ask, “’You didn’t crack up again, did you?”. Willy then explains to Howard that he’s been working for his family for thirty-four years, and confronts him for the request of transferring to a local office. But in return Howard comes clean with Willy and tells him that he doesn’t want him to represent the company, because he’s slower than other young salesman to sell products. Once, Howard denies his request, Willy goes on a rampage and starts yelling. Which follows Howard firing Willy, and stating, “This is no time for false pride, Willy. You go to your sons and tell them that you’re tired. You’ve got two great boys, haven’t you.” Once Willy comes home, he had a daydream or a flashback to several years ago when Ben came from an Alaska trip to visit Willy.
The dream shows a cheerful moment in Willy’s life, a moment which shows faith in his prime sales career, plus the future success of Biff. Subsequent to being let go, however, Willy memory can’t bring him much happiness. Because it helps him remind of the time when he denied the conceivable cash of Alaska. For half of his life, he kept on accepting aimlessly that he and Biff would end up happy based on being liked. Willy is trying to escape reality through his dreams of imaginary talks with Ben. The relationship of Willy and his son is remarkable and most important in the novel. He has two sons, Harrold “Happy” and Biff Loman, both brothers connects with each other through emotionally or physically. In their young age, both Happy and Biff admires their fathers work, believes in his morals, and tries to go on the same path as him. But as the story continues, they slowly start to realize that Willy has nothing but fake, that he has failed to prepare his sons for the real society. After Willy gets fired from his job, he quotes, “I’ve got to get some seeds. I’ve got to get some seeds right away. Nothing’s planted. I don’t have a thing in the ground.” The seeds represent the future of both Biff and Happy, as a father, he wants to leave something behind for his family to live for. As Biff starts to fail in life, he blames Willy for making false promises, and flunking him out of math. Biff decides to split up with his family, he quotes, “I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been.” But Willy believes that biff hates and mocks him only because he’s not successful, which leads him to think that his sons doesn’t like him. There are many unique items that symbolize something big in the novel, but the biggest one is the rubber hose. The rubber house symbolizes that Willy wants to commit suicide. Linda finds it first in the fuse box in the cellar, and finds some part of it on the gas pipe in the kitchen which leads her to believe that Willy wants to inhale the gas. Biff confront Willy about the rubber hose, which Willy continues to deny and goes on to say that he doesn’t know how it got inside the house. Biff doesn’t believe a single word that his father says, plus tells him that he wants to leave the house right away and never come back again.
Willy gets angry, curses him and says that Biff is wasting his life away and he will not be successful. Biff admits that he was arrested due to stealing a suit, which led him to serve time in prison for three months, also comes clean about stealing items many times from others. He also realizes how many great job offers he declined since high school. Biff alleges his family of lying and never saying the truth “for ten minutes in this house.” Willy and Biff are not the only ones lying, Happy has also lied about his job. Biff exposes him in front of Linda and Willy, he says that Happy has never been the assistant buyer, the truth is that he’s been one of two assistants to the assistant buyer. He also says that Happy wants to work in the open environment. He wants his father to realize what their sons what to do in life, not what he wants them to do. In conclusion, Biff and Happy wants Willy to accept the reality. Willy Loman, a man wanting to achieve his American dream loses the battle against life and his family. Willy was a great salesman in his young days, but as he gets older, his body gives up and he starts having daydreams or flashbacks. He starts talking imaginary people, such as Ben. Ben died years ago and he was the best Salesman in the company. A great amount of people and his family showed up to give their final regards. That tells the reader that he was loved by everyone plus he lived his best life. Willy wants people to show up to his funeral, he doesn’t want his funeral to be gloomy or sad. Willy and his family need money, he wants to leave something behind for his family. He saw a big beauty between his once dream-drive away life plus his present circumstances. He wanted to redeem himself from the real world respecting the desolation and emptiness of life. He gets the idea to commit suicide, so his family can receive a small fortune of twenty-thousand dollars of his insurance policy. Which will advance their living standards, plus acquire BIff’s love. If he dies intentionally, his family won’t gain the money. It has to be an accidental death. Also, his loved ones don’t know about his ideas or the insurance deal. At the end of the play, after talking with his deceased brother, Willy deliberately crashes his car, which leads to his death. For Willy, suicide was a victory, his gratefulness to his sons. Weeks prior to Willy’s death, Biff and Happy held their father’s funeral. No one except his family shows up to the ceremony. In one scene, Linda is confused about her husband’s death. She quote, “I can’t understand it.
At this time especially First time in thirty five years we were just about free and clear. He only needed a little salary.” Linda refers to her house to how it was mortgage free. Willy Loman had every characteristic that a tragic hero needs to have. He showed sadness and emotions such as pity and fear. His American dream was to be the greatest salesman and to provide a better future plus money for his wife and two grown sons. He couldn’t achieve his American Dream, because of his tragic downfall, he thought he can travel to far places to sell products door to door with no problems. But in reality his body was giving up, and his mind was in an imaginary place. He started talking to Ben, his older brother who expired years ago, asking for his advices and started following his directions. After Howard broke the news to Willy that he doesn’t want Willy to represent the company, Willy decided to give up his life for his family’s bright and upcoming future.
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