Stunting is a word used to describe a person who is showing off or trying to get attention by performing an elaborate act or stunt and being someone they are not, when in actuality your life is a disaster. In “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, the main character Willy Loman is a salesman whose quintessential American Dream is flawed and directly linked to his self-worth and his family’s achievements and as a result Willy’s professional failure becomes his personal failure and identity crisis. As a man deep in the memories of the past and controlled by his fears of the future, Will views himself a victim of bad luck accepting very little responsibility for his failures. However, it was not an ill-fated destiny that drove Willy to commit
From an outsider perspective, Willy Loman lives a normal life. He is a traveling salesman with two grown up sons, and a beautiful marriage. But is that really the life he has? No, it is not. One of the first disappointments Willy experiences is with his son.
Instead, Tack chases the path that makes him more accepted and this prevents him from uncovering his hidden potential. Similarly, in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” Willy Loman desires this same approval and acceptance. Willy, having grown up without a father figure, is extremely doubtful of his parenting and admits that, “[he is] afraid [he is] not teaching [Biff and Happy] the right [values]” (Miller 52). Due to his own insecurity in his parenting ability, Willy turns to Ben for approval and asks him “how [he] should teach [Biff and Happy]” (Miller 52). By continually looking for Ben’s approval, Willy limits his abilities and fails to be an adequate parent for Happy and Biff.
His usefulness in the businesses world has been made redundant by a blind faith based on shallow qualities such as being “well liked” and funny as he puts it. Miller uses Loman’s character to highlight the falsehood of the dream to the audience. New York Times writer Brooke Atkinson suggests that Willy does “not seem to be concerned with the quality of the product he is selling, his core values are based on things that are ephemeral at most.” What emphasises Lomans blind faith is his persevering idealism and naivety throughout the novel, he makes several references to plans for the future, frequently mentioning that “someday I’ll have my own business” and that he will “get a little place out in the country”. His idealism bears resemblance to Steinbeck's own ‘Lennie’ who remains ignorant of his reality and immerses himself in a fantasy in which the audience knows will not change.
During the play, the audience watched a man’s identity and mental stability slip away. “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller had proved the importance of wealth, “ American Dream”, memories, love, pride, betrayal, abandonment and friendship. Willy Loman the protagonist; constantly hallucinates, contradicts and talks to non-existing people. Willy is full of pride and orders. For instance, he had set up Biff and Happy’s life by telling them what to do.
Willy was a firm believer of the American dream in which he worked his whole entire life to try and become successful through his drive, ambition and work ethic. This however does not work out for him. The reader can see this through a conversation between his wife Linda and son Biff, where Linda tells him, “Remember I wrote you that he smashed up the car again? In February?... The insurance inspector came.
In the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, the story begins as Willy Loman a traveling salesman from Brooklyn, New York is returning home from a sales trip that he could not complete. He tells his wife Linda “I am tired to the death” (963). He is an older man past sixty who is feeling worn down from the travels that he has taken over the years and is feeling enormous stress in his life. He has been demoted from a salary position to commission only and is worried about money and how he will pay his bills. He is concerned how he and his wife will survive.
One can appreciate the intensity of Willy’s struggle only after isolating the things that Willy values. The reader can understand how the interrelationship of opposed loyalties and ideas in Willy’s mind motivates every aspect of
Willy, indulged his opinion; believed by possessing sharp looks and a witty personality, everything should come easy. In the play, Willy would also imagines times where he had his old boss or fantasy about the future. Doing this, Willy believed maybe he can rewrite his own tragic reality he is imprisoned in, because he was not truly happy. Willy is also the antagonist of the play because he was his own worst enemy and unable to get out his own way. Willy’s pride prevented him from being successful in the play.
The idea of success consumes him, that he not only thats to believe that he lies are real but that the lies also affects his whole family. “I don 't say he 's a great man. Willie Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He 's not the finest character that ever lived.
Miller’s play Death of A Salesman demonstrates how contrasting his view of a tragic hero through the use of Willy Loman. Willy Loman perfectly suits Miller’s definition of the modern tragic hero, as his definition of a tragic hero occurs to be the common man searching for and attempting to achieve his place in society. One of the most obvious reasons that Willy Loman fits Miller’s definition is that Willy is a common person. Unlike previous well-known plays and novels where the tragic hero is of royal background or rich, Willy is just the average person trying to make a living in New York. There is nothing that makes Willy Loman to most men, he is a salesman married to his wife Linda Loman with two sons (Miller 1852-1854).
Willy built his life around the dreams. He tells lies about how “well-liked” (Miller 28) he is all of his towns, and how “vital” (Miller 10) he is to New England. At times Willy even believes his own lies and becomes enthusiastic when he tells his family that he made more money than he actually did. Willy believes that his sons are very successful, well-liked and attractive young man, when in reality; they are two failures that have done nothing in their life.
Willy’s gradual declination of what he wants effectively showcases his tendency to undermine what he claims. Furthermore, Arthur Miller has Linda offer Willy “American-type cheese” only for Willy to immediately reject the idea of it. The American cheese symbolizes the American dream, while the Swiss cheese he wants is quite the opposite. The playwright offers critical contradicts as why would Willy not want American cheese? Willy clearly wants the American dream prior, but not all of a sudden refuses when it is right in front of him.
Apart from the American dream being an important goal of Willy’s, it has also created a strain on Willy’s mental state. “I’m the New England man. I’m vital in New England,” (8). This quote reveals that Willy has become mentally unstable due to the fact that he believes in something that is not logical. Considering his age, it would actually be an exaggeration to say that he is still useful as a salesman.
Willy finds out his dream of being an popular, well respected salesman is impossible and takes his own life. Linda supports Willy despite the abuse and confusion he puts her through with his various attempts to take his own life, with his delirious ramblings and hallucinations, and with his constant deception. Happy still sees his father as a hero and Biff finally begins to grasp the truth of the “American Dream”. When Willy kills himself, all of the Loman family, including Willy, break free from the web of false dreams he spun and begin to understand Willy’s failings. They also realize their own flaws.