Discusses Willy Loman as a tragic hero in Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman"

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA+, February 1997

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#2) Discuss Willy Loman as a tragic hero: Based your understanding of what being a hero means. You are, of course, free to differ with the designation.

No one has a perfect life. Everyone has conflicts that they must

face sooner or later. The ways in which people deal with these personal

conflicts can differ as much as the people themselves. Some insist on

ignoring the problem as long as possible, while some attack the problem to

get it out of the way. Willy Lowman's technique in Arthur Miller's play

Death of a Salesman, leads to very severe consequences. Willy never really

does anything to help the situation, he just escapes into the past, whether

intentionally or not, to happier times were problems were scarce. He uses

this escape as if it were a narcotic, and as the play progresses, the reader

learns that it can be a dangerous drug, because of it's addictiveness and

it's deadliness.

The first time Willy is seen lapsing off into the past is when he

encounters Biff after arriving home. The conversation between Willy and

Linda reflects Willy's disappointment in Biff and what he has become, which

is, for the most part, a bum. After failing to deal adequately with his

feelings, he escapes into a time when things were better for his family. 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 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...