Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller

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Death of a Salesman can be described as modern tragedy portraying the remaining days in the life of Willy Loman. This story is very complex, not only because of it’s use of past and present, but because of Willy’s lies that have continued to spiral out of control throughout his life. Arthur Miller puts a modern twist on Aristotle’s definition of ancient Greek tragedy when Willy Loman’s life story directly identifies the fatal flaw of the “American Dream”. Willy Loman’s tragic flaw can be recapped by one simple word: denial. Not only fueling his lack of ability to accept his fate as a run-of-the-mill salesman, but continuing to perpetuate denial in his entire family. During Willy’s flashbacks, the audience is able to take note of the happy times in the Loman household that lead up to such a tragic present, making it almost impossible not to see the world of fantasy and denial that Willy lives in. The first demonstration of contradiction that the audience witnesses come from a conversation between Willy and Linda when Willy says, “They don’t need me in New York. I’m the New England man. I’m vital in New England” (Miller 2109). Willy misleadingly claims that he is a crucial player in his business team in order to keep his image up with his family. Even though his sales were not great, he still continues to believe that he is needed. Willy is completely incapable of admitting, let alone accepting, his failures. We see this behavior play out again in a conversation with his

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