The Character Of Willy Loman In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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Throughout Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman constantly reminds those around him that in order to be successful in life you must be well liked. Early in the play Willy remarks that his sales have been slow and so he says, “[he] will go to Hartford. [Because he] is very well liked in Hartford” (36). When Willy struggles with his sales he believes the answer to resolving his problems is by selling where he is well liked, being that he is sure if he is selling where people like him he will make more sales. Willy displays an obvious misunderstanding with what it takes to find success in the world of business. Because of his confusion, Willy is developing a misguided life that results in tragedy. Even when several people around Willy …show more content…
For whatever reason Willy behaves the way he does, his corrupted mindset has lead to a habit of denying reality, which he has also passed on to his children. Willy is eventually fired from the firm he works for, due to his slipping sanity. Even though he was clearly dismissed from the firm, Willy tells Howard, his boss, that “[he] will go to Boston” the following day to help out, continually disregarding his dismissal. At one point in the play, after Willy was fired, Charley offers Willy a job, knowing that he is struggling as a salesman. Charley does not know that Willy is out of work, but of course Willy denies his offer because he believes it will degrade his status. Although he has no source of income, Willy thinks it would be embarrassing to work for his brother Charley. Willy reasons to Charley that he has a job, but Charley responds that it is a job “without pay” and that “he is not a genius but he knows when he is being insulted” (96). The state of denial that Willy resides in does nothing but keep him out of a job, just so he could keep his pathetic pride and status, which gets him and his family no where. This also shows a tendency of ruining his relationships with those around him, which contradicts his stress of being well liked. When Willy is found in a state of denial, his resolutions often dig him into a hole in which he cannot escape, which he then denies that he has any problems. The complications Willy is encountered by often result in giving him more troubles, being that his false and unhealthy understanding of success are warped and causing tragedy for not only himself, but those who surround

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