Self-Deception In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

Decent Essays
Self-deception is denying or rationalizing away the relevance of true evidence of an argument. These self-deceptive people hide from the truth and lie to everyone and themselves. When it comes to the point where your life is a lie you must continue it so you start to believe it yourself. “Above all, don 't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” In the play Death of a Salesman written by Arthur Miller the theme of self-deception permeates the play. Willy Loman has told his two sons Biff and Happy their whole lives that it does not matter …show more content…
He moved away, has a house and a job, and seems to be the only one with his head on his shoulders. He came back home to visit, when everything was chaotic. He realized there was something wrong with his father, but continued to believe that things would get better and everything would fall into place. Biff and Happy both see the intense struggle in their father’s eyes and still expect their father to do a whole lot better. “Biff and Happy hold their father to impossible high standards, and he tries his best to live up to them. This causes Willy to deny the painful reality that he has not achieved anything of real value.” (Blogspot). The boys are bringing their father down.
Each and every one of the Lomans have there own way of self-deception. “The Lomans are extremely self-deceptive, and in their respective delusions and blindness to reality they fuel and feed off on another.” (Americandream). Linda continues to believe there is nothing wrong with her husband, Willy. She is an enabler meaning “Someone who does not address bad behavior, or doesn’t face the negative things in life.”(Blogspot). She puts everything off like its okay when she knows its
…show more content…
The car kept going off onto the shoulder, y’know?” Linda: “ Oh. Maybe it was the steering again. I don’t think Angelo knows the Studebaker.” Willy: “No, its me, its me. Suddenly I realize I’m goin’ sixty miles an hour and I don’t remember the last five minutes. I’m-I cant seem to-keep my mind to it.” Linda: “ maybe its your glasses. You never went for your new glasses.” (death of a salesman). In this section of Act One of the play Linda endlessly creates excuses to why Willy might have gone of the road, because she doesn’t want to face the facts that Willy is sick and can no longer drive. She has been telling everyone and herself that it’s okay and does not face the truth. “Willy needs someone to stir him from his illusion, not someone to reaffirm his beliefs.” (Blogspot). Linda being so careless as to how Willy is feeling is affecting the whole family to do the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Howard is at fault in firing him but in response to Willy’s desperation he points a finger at Willy’s sons saying, “Where are your sons? ... You go to your sons and you tell them that you’re tired” (Miller 63). Howard feels it is Willy’s son’s responsibility to provide for their father, and feels he himself does not hold any duty to Willy. Be that as it may, Biff does not feel he can help Willy. He succumbs himself to believe he is unable to discipline himself according his father’s ways of success.…

    • 1414 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This explains why Biff could never handle a job and being told what to do. He’d never been told what to do before, since he’d only ever been great. Being home forces Biff into physically caring for his father, while his father tries to force his values on to his son, and force Biff into a life he does not want. When he brings up working as a salesman it overjoys Willy because to him this means Biff has not failed in life, when really he has only failed Willy’s expectations of Biff growing up to have a great job.. The reason Willy is so excited about his son trying to work in sales is it means Willy can look at Biff’s…

    • 1356 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Willy Loman Failure

    • 720 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Willy Loman: Willy Loman is a salesman that is a devout believer in the American Dream his whole life, but despite his obsession with this dream, he has never achieved it, negatively affecting all of his family and friends. Willy’s failure to realize his personal failure and selfishness has created a disillusion of the world, partially leading to Happy’s similar inability to realize their miserable realities. Willy’s state seems to allow his older son, Biff, acknowledge his own failure and allows him to confront it, contrasting with Willy’s main problem throughout his life. Linda Loman: Linda Loman is the wife of the disillusioned salesman, and also one of the main characters that seems to have a sense of reason or realistic view of their…

    • 720 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He hurt Biff by going too easy on him in his childhood years, showing him the harsh reality of lies, and not letting him make the-what do you want to do when you grow up- decision on his own. He also scarred Happy by not paying him much attention and showing him a life full of deception, both internally and externally, is okay. Willy Loman is a sixty-three year old salesman that is unstable, delusional, and a horrible father whose whole life was spent in the hopes of becoming a well-known salesman. Popularity was how Willy measured success, but ironically, he was never popular or well liked. Arrogance was his way of disguising the anxiety and self-doubt…

    • 758 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He convinces himself that he has to make up for not walking into a gold mine, or striking oil, or even being an inventor of flutes like his father. All of these unfulfilled hopes and dreams on the inside of him rob Willy of his happiness, but most of all, his sanity. The sound of the flute, that only Willy can hear, drives him insane. Symbolically, it represents a constant reminder of his father 's success and Willy 's failure to duplicate…

    • 832 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Since Biff and Willy are always getting into confrontations, Biff expresses to his mother what he really thinks of his father. “Because I know he’s a fake and he doesn’t like anybody around who knows!”(42). At the time Linda had no idea about the affair, that taken place years earlier. But to digress back to the topic, Willy cheated on his wife, lied to his sons and never told the truth, similar to how Claudius comitted incset with his brothers wife, lied to Hamlet and kept his own dark secret. In…

    • 1941 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Kafka had a struggling relationship with his own father, who would beat him and called him a failure for not becoming a businessman like himself. This seems to directly mirror his work in “The Judgment”, where the character’s father disapproves of how he is living his life. At one point, the father exclaims, “You wanted to cover me up – I know that, my little offspring – but I am not yet under covers.” This can relate to how Kafka really felt about his real father. He failed to live up to his father’s expectations and he could never get those thoughts out of his mind. Sibling rivalry is a constant conflict between family, whether it is acknowledged or not.…

    • 1402 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Both sons are lead into a state of denial as Willy pressures them to be financially successful. Specifically, Biff, is the main target of his father’s criticism. When Linda accuses Willy of losing his temper with Biff, Willy states that “he simply asked [him] if he was making…

    • 1174 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Willy also killed all hope of what Biff saw in his dad. As we can see in Death of a Salesman, Biff’s discovery that his father has a mistress strips him of his faith in Willy and his ambitions for him. As we can see with his argument with his mom, he states, “…I know he’s a fake and he doesn’t like anybody around who knows!” (Death 1.1.) Biff needs to find who he really is on his own, rather than spending his life with a father who lives in a fantasy where he is all Mr. Big when really he can barely make enough to support the expenses of the household (Death…

    • 1397 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It is a new innovative piece of technology, and instead of figuring out how to use it Willy freaks out. It only shows how incapable he is to adapt to time. The seeds, although are and opportunity for Willy to fix part of his family’s problem, allow him to understand that the only thing he has left to give his sons is his own worth, that of which he can only give if he is deceased. In conclusion, “Death of a Salesman” addresses loss of identity and a man’s inability to accept change within himself and society. Therefore, the audience is able to watch a man’s identity and mental stability slip away.…

    • 739 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics