Description[ edit ] Willy Loman is an aging suburban Brooklyn, New York salesman whose less than spectacular career is on the decline. He has lost the youthful verve of his past and his camaraderie has faded away.
Click the character infographic to download. He has a lot of potential, but he also has a whopping case of self-deception paired with misguided life goals. A salesman for all of his career, Willy thinks the goal of life is to be well-liked and gain material success.
Willy is a rather insecure guy. He tries to make himself feel better by lying to himself and his family. In his world of delusion, Willy is a hugely successful salesman. He disguises his profound anxiety and self-doubt with extreme arrogance. Periodically unable to maintain this image of strength, Willy despairs and pleads with successful people around him for guidance and support.
Despite his efforts, it becomes clear that Willy Loman is not popular, well-liked, or even good at his job. In fact, he never was.
In all likelihood, he never will be. Now an older man, Willy can no longer drive competently, pay his bills, or sell anything. He has deceived himself his entire life and tries to live vicariously through his unwilling son, Biff. Choosing to alienate his son rather than face reality, and tormented by his failures, Willy spirals downward.
Part of this "downward spiral" we keep talking about has to do with Willy losing a grip on reality and on time. Because his life, by his standards, sucks, Willy escapes into the past and also conveniently gives us, the reader or audience, the background information we need. Miller makes sure we are able to understand these reasons for why Willy has the affair.
Because we understand the psychology behind his affair. He is simply trying to escape. As we all know, Willy kills himself.
|Death of a Salesman: Death of a Salesman Play Summary & Study Guide | CliffsNotes||Miller uses the Loman family — Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy — to construct a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder. Willy had an affair over 15 years earlier than the real time within the play, and Miller focuses on the affair and its aftermath to reveal how individuals can be defined by a single event and their subsequent attempts to disguise or eradicate the event.|
|What are Willy's suicide attempts?Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller | eNotes||The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life. The three major themes within the play are denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder.|
Well, he was clearly still harboring misguided hopes about success for Biff. It seems Willy would rather kill himself than accept the fact that really, honestly, all his son wants is some shirtless sweaty time in Midwestern haystacks.
The point is, Willy is still deluded when he kills himself. That final delusion is almost worse than his death itself. Willy was always in pursuit of being the perfect salesman, and before he kills himself he expresses a wish to die "the death of a salesman. To answer that, we have to ask ourselves just what does it mean to be a salesman in this play?
Part of being a salesman is about selling yourself. If you got to know him, it would probably seem even less likely. Still, Willy Loman is often thought of as a hero. The ancient Greeks were the first to write about these doomed souls.
But how is slouchy old Willy Loman in any way similar to the heroes of Greek tragedy? Well, dear Shmoopsters, they share a little thing the Greeks liked to call hamartia. You could say that the idea of hamartia is seen in Willy through his delusional personality.
Anagnorisis According to Aristotle, tragic heroes also have a moment of recognition, or anagnorisis. You could argue that Willy has a small realization near the end of the play.
However, though Willy must make some small realization toward the end of the play, we hesitate to label it as full blown anagnorisis. Willy definitely goes to his death amid a cloud of delusion.
Even after Biff totally lays it out for his dad that all he wants to do is be a cowboy or whatever, Willy refuses to understand.
The pitiful salesman kills himself, thinking that Biff will use the life insurance money to start a business. It becomes painfully obvious at the funeral that this is totally not going to happen, showing that Willy went to his death without coming to grips with reality.He's no longer effective, the younger men are passing him by, sales no longer rely on the game he was taught as a young man; Willy had been replaced by those with new ideas and techniques, while he refused to change with the times.
William "Willy" Loman is a fictional character and the protagonist of Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman, which debuted on Broadway with Lee J.
Cobb playing Loman at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, Willy Loman commits suicide because he finally realizes that his life, and the lives of his sons are failures.
He also believes that his death will allow his family to collect on his life. Willy does become sort of a sacrificial lamb for his family. But he has forever robbed his wife of a husband and his sons of a father.
He could have solved these problems without killing himself if he had confronted them head on. Gender inequality and its role in economic oppression becomes relevant in broader discussion of Arthur Miller's ''The death of salesman '' and Willy Loman's regardbouddhiste.com play's condemnation of oppression and inequality is intrinsic to Western, materialistic free market culture of a so-called American Dream.
If you saw Willy Loman sitting across from you on a bus, you probably wouldn't peg him for a hero. If you got to know him, it would probably seem even less likely. Still, Willy .