Death of a Salesman Essay

Words: 1053
Pages: 5

By: Raleigh Mullin

In the play, Death of a Salesman, the main character, Willy Loman's tragedy is due to both his own flawed character and society's flaws. Advancements in science throughout this century have led to tremendous advancements in industry. In this case however, advancements in industry have not always led to advancements in living conditions. For some, society has created mass wealth. For Willy Loman, however, mass society has created only tremendous grief and hardship, based on endless promise. For these reasons, his tragedy is due both to societies flaws and to the flaws in his own character. It was society who stripped him of his dignity, piece by piece. It was society who stripped him of his lifestyle, and his own sons
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It is not uncommon for one to think of better times at low points in their life in order to cheer themselves up so that they are able to deal with the problems that they encounter, but Willy Lowman takes it one step further. His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind he is transported back in time to relive one of the happier days of his life. It was a time when no one argued, Willy and Linda were younger, the financial situation was less of a burden and Biff and Happy enthusiastically welcomed their father back home from a long road trip. Willy's need for the "drug" is satisfied and he is reassured that everything will turn out okay, and the family will soon be as happy as it was in the good old days. The next flashback occurs during a discussion between Willy and Linda. Willy is depressed about his inability to make enough money to support his family, his looks, his personality, and the success of his friend and neighbor, charley. "My God if business doesn't pick up, I don't know what I'm gonna do!" is the comment made by Willy after Linda figures out the difference between the family's income and their expences. Before Linda has a chance to offer any words of consolation, Willy blurts out, "I'm fat. I'm very—foolish to look at, Linda." In doing this he has depressed himself so much that he is visited by a woman with whom he is having an affair. The woman's purpose in this