Ambition In Willy Loman's Death Of A Salesman

549 Words3 Pages

Often individuals are prevented from achieving satisfaction due to a fundamental flaw in their character. In the case of Willy Loman, this flaw is his excessive pride and ambition. For the majority of his life, Willy has been primarily influenced by his brother Ben’s success. This has caused him to develop a sense of ambition that is both unrestrained and idealistic. Over the course of his lifetime, both Willy and his sons fall short of the impossible standards of this dream. Willy conducts his whole life based on the belief that any man who is good-looking, charismatic, and “well-liked” deserves success and will naturally achieve it (1.30). He attempts to make his mark by working as a salesman because, according to him, “selling [is] the greatest …show more content…

Even when his neighbour Charley offers him a job with a salary, Willy declines because he is too proud to work for Charley. He rather blames his failure on the superficiality of the business world and fixates himself on the idea that personality, not hard work, is the key to accomplishment. Perhaps, this is because Willy is living in a world where the pursuit of the American Dream is a predominant part of people’s lives, and the materialistic pressures of the superficial were beginning to permeate its actual values. Under this particular pressure, Willy has been fighting his entire life to achieve "the dream," but unfortunately, no one ever explains to him what its true values are or how to really make it. Therefore, Willy manages his life based on his overwhelming sense of pride and ambition, and in this way, Miller seems to criticize the idea of compromising happiness for success-- even though Willy truly believes that happiness is achieved through success. It is Willy’s blind faith in his ill-advised version of the American Dream that leads to his rapid decline, as he becomes unable to accept the disparity between his dreams and his own

Open Document