24 August 2012
Too Much Pride, Too Much Failure In Arthur Miller’s play Death of A Salesman, he exhibited a combination of themes to display his main concept of failure, honor, and suicide. He intertwined these dominant ideas to demonstrate one central theme. Miller used these concepts throughout the tragedy to portray the death of a salesman through his main characters, the Loman family.
Main character, Willy Loman suffered many failures in his life involving his career, wife, and kids over the years of being a salesman and having such a certain yet inaccurate and imaginative view on his life and environment. In his career as a salesman, he was not as successful as he portrayed himself to be. “There was respect, and comradeship, and gratitude in it. Today it’s all cut and dried, and there’s no chance for bringing friendship to bear- or personality. You see what I mean? They don’t know me anymore.” (Miller, 2.1591) His image of being the most valued in his career was becoming a reality of failure and he was not what he thought he was. Willy became so consumed with his failure that he could not view anything past it. “After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up more dead than alive.”(Miller,2.1603) Willy’s hope for success in his life also failed with his son Biff and he felt even more worthlessness when he realizes that Biff is becoming like him: “BIFF. (horrified, gets down on one knee before Willy). Dad, I’ll make good, I’ll make good...Sit down now. WILLY. No, you’re no good, you’re no good for anything.”( 2.1611) Willy was so prideful, it was hard for him to accept the fact that his son was not making good off in a career and life just like himself.
Although Willy suffered much failure, he still felt honorable and he refused to welcome his deficiencies of weakness, so he created a world for himself where he could present himself and his family to be the best no matter what faults were true. After finding out Biff had no initiatives to be successful, he was still reluctant to accept his faults: “BIFF. Pop! I’m a dime a dozen, and so are you! WILLY. I am not a dime a dozen! I am WIlly Loman, and you are Biff Loman!”(,2.1626) Willy wanted nothing more in the world but for success to be the fuel in his life, but Biff was not successful and it affected Willy. “I am not a leader if men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in ash like all the rest of them! I’m one dollar an hour, Willy! (...) I’m not bringing home any prizes any more, and you’re going to stop waiting for me to bring them home!” (2.1626) Willy had pride in his family so although he was so faithful in their success, he had a reality splashed in his face when he knows that his pride and honor is false and things are not good.
The misconceptions Willy Loman had over his life were brought to light and the life Willy believed in was in shambles and his