Willy Loman Tragic Hero Essay

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In some sense, Willy Loman of The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is the epitome of the new tragic hero, an everyman who represents the typical despair of a group of people. Like many people of the working class, he is a loving father who is willing to sacrifice anything for his sons’ financial success, but his delusion and pride proves to be his downfall. In fact, he believes that being rich and well-liked will bring happiness to his family, but it does not. For instance, his son Biff is willing to work for less money at a farm than to work at an office, but Willy continually pushes him into a character of his fantasy, thinking that success makes everybody happy. Under his belief, he works himself until insanity, basing his happiness on the American Dream, which proves to be a lie. This marks his …show more content…
Biff’s mother Linda still believes that her husband is not wrong. Even before Willy’s death, Linda proves herself to be completely supportive of him, often fueling his delusion. For instance, when Biff decides to ask his former employer for a job, Willy is ecstatic. He goes on about how his son will be hired, and Linda interjects with statements to confirm his thoughts by saying statements like “Oliver always thought the highest of [Biff]” (48). While her actions may be to protect him from the harsh realities that he is an inept salesman, she demonstrates that she is truly fooled by his dreams. At Willy’s funeral, Linda is aghast that few people showed up when she says, “But where are all the people he knew? Maybe they blame him”(110). Her love for Willy blinds her to his incompetence, and his death solidifies her belief since she only sees his sacrificial intentions rather than his lies. Because of this, Willy’s delusion lives and makes Linda’s situation tragic in that she may never learn the faults of chasing a dream that is not meant to

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