The Presentation of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

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The Presentation of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Willy Loman is presented as both a tragic hero and an unconscious victim in "Death of a Salesman". "Death of a Salesman" is very much based upon the American Dream, and whether we are slaves or conquerors of this dream. This is an idea that the playwright Arthur Miller has very passionately pursued both through Willy's own eyes, and through his interaction with the different characters in the play.

Firstly, the definitions of a hero and a victim very much influence the way that Willy is viewed by the audience. Miller has not used the play to suggest that Willy Loman is an ordinary hero, but more a tragic hero. A tragic hero,
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On the contrary, we are not immediately introduced to this delusional, flaky character. At the beginning of scene one, we see the more assertive side of Willy as he discusses business possibilities with his wife Willy. Miller balances out the audience's perception of Willy towards the end of the act where the more vulnerable side of Willy is illustrated, with the use of his behaviour and the response of others to his attitude. An example of this would be Linda diligently agreeing with Willy's strange statements.

One of Willy's traits which qualify him as a hero is his eternal sacrifice, and the way that he throws everything into the balance in order to secure his rightful place in society, and to live the American Dream. These sacrifices are perfectly illustrated by the long distance that Willy travels in order to sell his stock. At the start of the play, Linda comments on his driving up to New England to which Willy responds: "I'm the New England man. I'm vital in New England." Miller makes clever use of the language here, in order to present quite a heroic view of

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