An analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

Characters[ edit ] William "Willy" Loman: He is 63 years old and unstable, insecure, and self-deluded. Willy tends to re-imagine events from the past as if they were real.

An analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

Click the character infographic to download.

Death of a Salesman: Study Guide / CHARACTER ANALYSIS: WILLY LOMAN / BIFF LOMAN by Arthur Miller

He has a lot of potential, but he also has a whopping case of self-deception paired with misguided life goals. A salesman for all of his career, Willy thinks the goal of life is to be well-liked and gain material success.

Willy is a rather insecure guy. He tries to make himself feel better by lying to himself and his family. In his world of delusion, Willy is a hugely successful salesman.

He disguises his profound anxiety and self-doubt with extreme arrogance. Periodically unable to maintain this image of strength, Willy despairs and pleads with successful people around him for guidance and support. Despite his efforts, it becomes clear that Willy Loman is not popular, well-liked, or even good at his job.

In fact, he never was. In all likelihood, he never will be. Now an older man, Willy can no longer drive competently, pay his bills, or sell anything.

He has deceived himself his entire life and tries to live vicariously through his unwilling son, Biff. Choosing to alienate his son rather than face reality, and tormented by his failures, Willy spirals downward.

Part of this "downward spiral" we keep talking about has to do with Willy losing a grip on reality and on time. Because his life, by his standards, sucks, Willy escapes into the past and also conveniently gives us, the reader or audience, the background information we need. Miller makes sure we are able to understand these reasons for why Willy has the affair.

Because we understand the psychology behind his affair. He is simply trying to escape.

An analysis of willy loman in death of a salesman a play by arthur miller

As we all know, Willy kills himself. Well, he was clearly still harboring misguided hopes about success for Biff. It seems Willy would rather kill himself than accept the fact that really, honestly, all his son wants is some shirtless sweaty time in Midwestern haystacks.

The point is, Willy is still deluded when he kills himself. That final delusion is almost worse than his death itself. Willy was always in pursuit of being the perfect salesman, and before he kills himself he expresses a wish to die "the death of a salesman.

To answer that, we have to ask ourselves just what does it mean to be a salesman in this play? Part of being a salesman is about selling yourself. If you got to know him, it would probably seem even less likely. Still, Willy Loman is often thought of as a hero.

The ancient Greeks were the first to write about these doomed souls. But how is slouchy old Willy Loman in any way similar to the heroes of Greek tragedy? Well, dear Shmoopsters, they share a little thing the Greeks liked to call hamartia. You could say that the idea of hamartia is seen in Willy through his delusional personality.

Anagnorisis According to Aristotle, tragic heroes also have a moment of recognition, or anagnorisis.Death of a Salesman takes place primarily within the confined landscape of the Lomans’ home. This narrow, and increasingly narrowing setting is contrasted with the vastness of the American We (Click the setting infographic to download.) Most of the action is set in Willy Loman's home and yard.

Analysis of the central character in Death of a Salesman. Explore Willy Loman's childhood, his affair, and his relationships. Playwright Arthur Miller wants to portray Willy Loman as the Common Man.

This notion contrasts much of Greek theater which sought to tell tragic stories of "great" men. Throughout the play, Willy mentions his. CRITICAL ANALYSIS-DEATH OF A SALESMAN -ARTHUR MILLER Arthur Miller (Oct Feb ) was, in all probability, one of the greatest playwrights of contemporary history He is also one of the greatest critics of contemporary American society, as his works often tend to portray American middlemen as heroes, bitterly and futilely fighting against the entire system of what “Americanism” is, .

SparkNotes: Death of a Salesman: Act I

Essay The Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller. 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.

In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller takes on a similar task, providing commentary on what the American Dream is through Willy Loman and his family. We will write a custom essay sample on Death of A Salesman: American Dream. "Death of a Salesman " is a non-linear play. It interweaves the protagonist Willy Loman's present (the late s) with his memories of a happier past.

Because of Willy's frail mind, the old salesman sometimes doesn't know if he is living in the realm of today or yesterday.

Death of a Salesman: Death of a Salesman Play Summary & Study Guide | CliffsNotes