Death of a Salesman

Essay by krys528A+, April 2004

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Throughout the play the Lomans in general cannot distinguish between reality and illusion, particularly Willy. Willy Loman is the main character of the play and often considered its tragic hero. The sixty-something failing salesman grows increasingly insane throughout Death of A Salesman, eventually ending his life in suicide. Willy tries to persuade himself and others that he and his sons are successful, but in the end, Willy is unable to live up to his own expectations (and those of his rich brother Ben, who expects Willy to do much more with his life than he has). Willy very often lapses into a flashback and appears to be reliving conversations and situations that occurred years ago. This it is an inability to see reality. All in all, Willy is little more than a failure and a crazed lunatic living in the past.

Willy cannot see who he and his sons are.(

Biff and Happy) He believes that they are great men who have what it takes to be successful and beat the business world. Unfortunately, he is mistaken. In reality, Willy and sons are not, and cannot, be successful. "Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with such-persona attractiveness, gets lost. And such a hard worker. There's one thing about Biff- he's not lazy." (Page 1133) Despite this failure, Willy makes the most extreme sacrifice in his attempt to leave an inheritance that will allow Biff to fulfill the American Dream. Willy's philosophy is sound and fool-proof, he feels, but, it hasn't worked for him, or for his favorite son, Biff. Ever since graduation from high school when he inexplicably ignored a prestigious scholarship offer to play football for the University of Virginia, Biff had acted like a restless vagabond, moving from one...