Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero

Essay by pvflygirlCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2004

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Willy Loman is indeed a pathetic and tragic hero of Death of a Salesman. His problems stem from his own delusions, the American Dream turning sour, and misunderstanding his job and family. All of this tells the story of everyday people in American society. His environment is changing faster than his beliefs which is why he is in the dilemma that he is in now.

His own delusions are a result of his failure to succeed in life. He still believes he is popular, respected and good looking. But at age 63, he is none of these. Nobody liked him that much since very few people came to his funeral. His delusion was that there would be people across the country coming to the funeral. However, in those moments that he begins to realize the truth, his wife Linda while understanding his situation, supports his delusion. She say to him that "you're the best looking man in the world".

But the truth is that being popular and good looking is not how you would succeed in the world now. It would be through hard work and perseverance.

The American Dream has long turned sour for him. At the beginning of his life, he remembers traveling in a wagon going westward. His parents conquered the new frontier and succeeded. His brother Ben went "into the jungle at 17 and came out rich at age 21". For a while, the American Dream was alive in Willy too. He helped stake out new territory by selling his goods, his son Biff was going to go to university with a scholarship and

he had a home with no apartments closing on him. But now, he was forced to work on commission at an old age and was fired later by his godson. His...