The Fall Of Willy Loman's Death Of A Salesman

1808 Words 8 Pages
Chasing Death

Despite the fact that Willy Loman may not exemplify the tragic hero due to his lack of success and stature, Death of a Salesman should be considered a tragedy as it succeeds in crafting a narrative that is centralized around the dangers of ambition, illustrated through the cautionary tale of the fall of Willy Loman, who falls to Earth from his lofty dreams, and in the process tears his life to pieces. It is difficult to proclaim Willy a typical tragic hero; he is anything but that. Willy can’t keep a salary or a job; however, it is what he loses that makes Death of a Salesman a tragedy. In his decline Willy loses his family and the image they held of him, and by the end of his downward spiral he actually loses himself. Although
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Willy death starts long before it ends; it is a long painful fall from his dream state that ends in a sickening, literal crash into reality. He is never successful; he never attains the stature or acclaim that a hero is renowned for, but all along he imagines he has. Willy Loman’s story is more than a tragedy; it is a calamity, a catastrophe. What could have been Willy’s greatest advantage, his unwavering, blind ambition, is his fatal flaw. Willy could have been anything: a father, a husband, a motivator, an inspirer, a builder, but he chooses wrong. What makes Willy’s death tragic is that he is the epicenter of his explosion and the creator of his own demise. He is the only person in the car. All along he dreams of himself, his successes, the reflection of him in other’s success while in his reality he is surrounded by those who love him. In the end he dreams of others, all the things his death will do for them, open for them, but he is the only one in the car. He is no longer Willy Loman; reality has “[eaten] the orange, and [thrown] the peel away” (82). All that remains of Willy is “a tattered coat upon a stick”, a shell of the man he once was, before he lost everything (Traveling to Byzantium). Willy Loman is devoid of identity and family, stripped of the dream that has filled him for so long. Willy Loman’s story is one of struggle, one of defeat, but what makes it a tragedy is that everyone realizes that Willy has failed before he does; all of the people that believe he can sell his dreams are in the car: a salesman sits

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