Essay, Research Paper: Death Of Salesman By Miller

Literature: Arthur Miller

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Death of a Salesman Is Willy Loman a hero or a villain? Willy could not be
possibly thought as a hero. There are arguments that support both arguments of
Willy being a hero or a villain, but most of them support Willy as being a
villain. Willy did not have the friends and contacts that he claimed and
emphasized his boys to have. Most of his life became a lie to him and his
family. Willy commits many faults that categorize him as a villain. The most
important fault was the affair. He might have not wanted to do this on purpose
but this does not make him any better. Maybe the affair first started out as a
business relationship, but it did not end that way. This affair damaged the life
of Biff who caught his father with the woman. Biff became disappointed and angry
towards Willy, and he never went to summer school or attended college. Willy was
not the only one who faced consequences, so did Biff and Linda. Willy cheated on
Linda and never said anything about the affair to her. He sometimes felt guilty
about it and that is why Willy made her feel inferior. He felt that he could not
face her because of what he was doing behind her back. Willy was still ashamed
of what he had done, even after the affair was over. He used to give the woman
stockings and when he saw Linda knitting some, he demanded her to stop knitting
stockings. He still felt guiltyabout his actions after many years. Willy's lies
to his family about business is another big fault. In the story, we get to know
Willy better as more flashbacks show his past. Through the flashbacks, the
audience gets to notice that the only thing he wanted in life was to be
successful as well as his sons. All he cared about was business and to be
well-liked by others. Willy bragged about being successful in his job and being
liked by everyone. " 'Willy Loman is here!' That's all they have to know,
and I go right through."1 In reality, all his dreams about being well-liked
were phony, because he wasn't even well-liked at all. He might be called a hero
because he wanted the best for his sons, but at the same time Willy was lying to
all his family. He lied about having a great job, being successful, well-liked
and happy. He always told his Biff and Happy to do good, but never setting the
example himself. He was never a great salesman and had no contacts anywhere.
Willy made his family believe lies that later become a reality for him only.
Biff's dream was different from his father's dream. Even though Willy encouraged
Biff not to attend summer school and therefore, never graduate, he still wanted
Biff to follow his footsteps. Biff had been confused throughout many years and
was always trying to find himself. When he came from the ranch to visit his
family he tried to be in peace with Willy. Willy did not want to see him,
because his son was working at a ranch and only received a small amount of
money. He did not approve of Biff's work on a ranch. He felt that at Biff's age
of 34, he should have found himself and should have been settled into a good
paying job. During Biff's visit, Biff realized what he wanted to do with the
rest of his life, and finds himself. Despite of this, Willy still did not want
his son to work on a ranch. He preferred his son to successful and unhappy, than
unsuccessful and happy. Willy becomes so into this idea that he never wants Biff
to return to his house. By doing this, Willy is once again disencouraged his son
to follow his dream and to be happy. During a flashback, the audience can
realize Willy's favoritism towards one of his sons. In one flashback, it is
clear that he prefers more Biff than Happy. In day of the big game, Willy only
has his attention on Biff and pays none to his other son. "I'm losing
weight, you notice, Pop?" 2 The readers can see trying to tell his father
about hoe he is losing weight, but Willy doesn't pay much attention to him. Even
though it is not much portrayed in the play, it is noticeable that Happy has
always wanted his father to treat him the way he treated Biff. Happy stayed at
Willy's house and followed his father's dream, he became a businessman. Although
Biff wasn't making money, it seemed that Happy was doing very well, but Willy
never seemed to notice or if he did, he never said anything to Happy to let him
know he had noticed. Willy Loman caused consequences that ruined his and his
family's future. The affair he created was a large part of why Willy could not
be possibly thought of as a hero. His whole life, he told his wife and children
about all the people that knew him and how that was the only way to be
successful, when he really did not know anyone. In the end, Willy kills himself.
Willy thought that when he died, the funeral would show his family how many
people he knew, because they would all come, but no one showed up. Villain may
be a strong word, but it fits Willy Loman much better than hero.
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