The Self Destruction Of Willy Loman - Death Of A Salesman Essay

1001 Words 5 Pages
In Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman’s life seems to be slowly deteriorating. It is clear that Willy’s predicament is of his own doing, and that his own foolish pride and ignorance lead to his downfall. Willy’s self-destruction involved the uniting of several aspects of his life and his lack of grasping reality in each, consisting of, his relationship with his wife, his relationship and manner in which he brought up his children, Biff and Happy, and lastly his inability to productively earn a living and in doing so, failure to achieve his “American Dream”.

     Willy’s relationship with his wife is clearly a cause of his collapse. Willy neglected to demonstrate honesty in his relationship with
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At one point in the play, Willy says, “Biff is a lazy bum”(16). Moments later in the same conversation with Linda, Willy adds, “There’s one thing about Biff, he’s not lazy”(16). Even when confronted by his boys, Willy is unable to deal with the truth, that his sons won’t amount to very much at all. He ignores reality very well, and instead of pointing out that Biff hasn’t established himself yet, Willy tells Biff, “You’re well liked, Biff….And I’m telling you, Biff, and babe you want…”(26). The boys are clearly aware of their status and the status of their father, and Happy is found putting Willy’s personality in a nutshell, “Well, let’s face it: he’s [Willy] no hot-shot selling man. Except that sometimes, you have to admit he’s a sweet personality”(66). Obviously, Willie’s failure to bring up his children effectively, and his delusional thinking including denial of reality helps fortify his depleting condition and confusion.

     The single most weighted factor that edges Willie to his demise is his inability to make a living and achieve his “American Dream”. After being a salesman for many years, Willy just can’t cope with the fact that he hasn’t been successful at all. He believes that he is a terrific salesman. His imaginative thinking won’t let him accept the fact that he has become a failure instead of a wealthy businessman. Willy believes that to be well liked is the means to being