Character analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman by arthur miller

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Character analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman by arthur miller

Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman

He has been a traveling salesman, the lowest of positions, for the Wagner Company for thirty-four years. Never very successful in sales, Willy has earned a meager income and owns little.

His refrigerator, his car, and his house are all old - used up and falling apart, much like Willy. Willy, however, is unable to face the truth about himself. He kids himself into believing that he is well liked by his customers in the New England territory and by the company, who is sure to give him a promotion or opportunity to make more income.

Willy's dream is to become like Dave Singleman, who was very popular with his clients and able to do business by just making phone calls.

Because he was so well liked, when Singleman died, customers from all over his region came to his funeral. Ironically, when Willy commits suicide, almost no one attends the funeral, proving the error of his philosophies.

Throughout his life, Willy believed that if one was attractive and well liked, everything would be perfect.

Character analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman by arthur miller

The doors would automatically open for such a man, and he was sure to be successful. In order to believe that he and his family are successes, Willy lies to himself and lives in a world of illusions.

He says of himself that he is well liked in all the towns he visits and by all the customers that he calls on; he also erroneously believes that he is vital to the New England territory and will some day receive a promotion for his hard work.

He even lies to himself, and then his boss, about how much he actually earns. Because he wants to prove to himself that he is well liked, Willy has at least one affair, attracting the young woman by offering to purchase her a pair of silk stockings.

When Biff discovers his father in the hotel room with the woman, he recognizes Willy for what he is and calls him a liar and a fake. Willy also lives in a world of illusions about his two sons. He is convinced that Happy is a content, successful young man who will soon become a store manager.

In truth, Happy is a loser, like his father, who lives in his own world of illusions and contributes to keeping Willy in his fantasies. Although he has his own apartment and car and claims to have relationships with women, Happy admits that he is lonely and unhappy, with no clue of how to rise above the unhappiness.

Since he is the more attractive son who has been a successful athlete in high school, Willy has placed most of his dreams in this older son. Biff, however, fails miserably. He flunks math and cannot continue his education. He is a compulsive thief, who has lost every job because of his stealing.

Willy refuses to see the truth about Biff, even when the son tries to tell him. In fact, Willy commits suicide so that Biff will have his life insurance money.

He is certain that Biff can make something of himself with twenty thousand dollars. Willy Loman is a tragic figure who is largely to blame for his own downfall. He is fired from the Wagner Company because he is no longer effective and gets angry with and lies to the boss.

He misjudges his sons and fails to accept the truth about either of them. Because Willy has an incorrigible inability to tell the truth, even to himself, and an unreasonable mode of thinking, he justifies his death by saying that his sacrifice will save his sons, particularly Biff; the insurance money they collect will be a tangible remembrance of Willy.

The people at the funeral, who Willy is sure will be in attendance, will prove to his sons that he was respected and well liked. It is obvious that even until the last moments of his life, Willy lives a lie.

The character of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

The one redeeming quality in Willy Loman is his love for his family, particularly for his unworthy son, Biff. Even when Biff forces his father to face reality, Willy is unable to accept the truth as presented to him by his elder son. Instead, he chooses to commit suicide, believing it will give Biff a better chance to succeed in life.

In his mind, Willy is making the ultimate sacrifice for his family when he kills himself. Therefore, Willy, in his own mind, dies as a father and husband, not as a salesman as Miller indicates in the title of the play.

Character analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman by arthur miller

Downtrodden and leading a seemingly miserable existence, Linda still truly loves her husband in spite of all his faults and always stands by him.Arthur Miller’s "Death of a Salesman" has been described as an American tragedy.

That is very easy to see, but perhaps it isn’t the blustery, senile salesman Willy Loman who experiences tragedy. That is very easy to see, but perhaps it isn’t the blustery, senile salesman Willy Loman who experiences tragedy. Death of a Salesman was first published in In creating the character of Willy Loman, Arthur Miller aimed to mirror one of the everyday "characters" of Post WWII American society.

In fact. Despite his desperate searching through his past, Willy does not achieve the self-realization or self-knowledge typical of the tragic hero. The quasi-resolution that his suicide offers him represents only a partial discovery of the truth.

The Death of a Salesman quotes below are all either spoken by Willy Loman or refer to Willy Loman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one.

The overwhelming tensions caused by this disparity, as well as those caused by the societal imperatives that drive Willy, form the essential conflict of Death of a Salesman. Read an in-depth analysis of Willy Loman.

Playwright Arthur Miller wants to portray Willy Loman as the Common Man. This notion contrasts much of Greek theater which sought to tell tragic stories of "great" men. Instead of Greek Gods bestowing a cruel fate upon the protagonist, Willy Loman makes several terrible mistakes that result in a.

Death of a Salesman: Study Guide / CHARACTER ANALYSIS: WILLY LOMAN / BIFF LOMAN by Arthur Miller