Death Of A Salesman Tragic Flaw Analysis

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In the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller the protagonist Willy Loman has a tragic flaw that leads to his demise. Willy’s obsession with material wealth and popularity prevent him from achieving happiness in his life. This obsession prevents him from successfully having a career and being able to retire at an old age. Throughout the play Willy makes many mistakes with raising his sons Biff and Happy and mistakes at his work. These mistakes come directly from his philosophy on life. Even though some characters tell him this he does not take the advice. “Willy, when’re you gonna realize that them things don’t mean anything. You name him Howard, but you can sell that.” (Miller 97)In this quote Charley tries to help Willy because he …show more content…
“Miller has chosen his protagonist from a profession whose skill and success mainly depend on personal attractiveness.” (Karim) To be successful as a salesman you have to be liked by customers or you will not make any commission. That’s ok for being a salesman but that should not be somebody’s philosophy for life. This has led Willy down a very bad path throughout his life that by the end of the play gets him fired from his job and eventually leads him to suicide. Because he creates a bad life for himself and his family he constantly tries to escape reality. He escapes reality by day dreaming but this day dreaming is not letting him do his job because he cannot drive because he is not paying attention. “He is completely living in falsehood.” (Karim)Throughout the play he talks about the past because he was happier. He talks about Biff and how successful he was before he failed high school. He also talks about his brother Ben who became a millionaire. He also often exaggerates things in his life to make himself look better. “He exaggerates in his reconstruction of realities.” (Karim) This quote shows how he exaggerates reality to escape from …show more content…
Due to this both of them have problems with fitting in to society. They were told many things from Willy’s messed up philosophy of life. “The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates a personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want.” (Miller 33) He tells his sons that you don’t need to perform in school or in the workforce you just need to have connections and know many people to succeed in life. This philosophy is created bad morels for both sons. Biff steals things uncontrollably because Willy never told him not to. When he stole a football from the team he said the coach wouldn’t mind because it was Biff. When Biff goes to see Bill Oliver for money for an investment and is completely denied he steals his expensive fountain pen. Biff also says while he is out west he stole himself out of every job and is the reason his is always unemployed. Happy on the other hand can handle a job but he has other problems. Because of his sons not being able to support themselves mentally or financially Willy still has to work at old age and cannot retire because they can’t support him. This eventually leads to Willy’s death.” Willy’s distorted American Dream leads him to commit suicide.”

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