Willy Loman: Victimizer and Victim - Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"

Essay by ....85High School, 12th gradeA-, April 2007

download word file, 12 pages 3.7

Unit 1 Key Question

Throughout Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman tended to victimize virtually everyone he came in contact with. He hurt others perpetually throughout this play for a variety of different reasons. One of his key targets was his wife Linda. From verbal to finical, Willy Loman abused his wife Linda. His son Biff was also a prime target of his abuse. His abuse towards his son was subtle at times, and not so subtle others. Biff wasn't the only son to encounter abuse his brother Happy was also a target. Happy was abused not by any action, but by lack of. To further expand on the aforementioned, Happy was ignored by his father causing much detriment. A common occurrence among abusers is that their victimization seems be focused internally (family) or externally (everyone else) but rarely both. Willy Loman was an anomaly as far the previously philosophy was concerned; Willy victimized everyone he came in contact with.

From his finically supportive friend, Charley, to the last person you'd expect, a child. Though, that isn't to say that Willy was in turn unharmed; he was also a victim. Those who are victimized often feel that they are justified in their diatribe against all others, no matter how untrue. His boss Howard would victimize Willy Loman, stating his lack of importance to business. Which could be perceived as a severe act against one's ego, but this wasn't the most prevalent culprit of harassment. The quintessential worst enemy of Willy was his mental illness; but more specifically his frequent delusional tangents. Throughout Arthur Miller's Masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman was both a victim and a victimizer as I'll soon make evident in the text below.

The most evident victim of Willy...