Analysis Of Friedrich Nietzsche's Death Of A Salesman

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This article takes into account Friedrich Nietzsche 's philosophy, in particular the notions of Slave Morality and Master Morality, in order to analyze the major characters of Death of a Salesman (1998) especially its tragic protagonist Willy Loman. Therefore, firstly Nietzsche’s related concepts will be explained and then the play will be studied based on those concepts. In this study understanding master morality, slave morality and their differences as well as the idea of ‘will to power’ is essential to analyze the characters based on Nietzsche’s philosophy. This paper considers Willy Loman as an actual low man who does not know himself and cannot bear changes while his son, Biff, seeks to create and set his own values. He ferociously shows…show more content…
Artan (2014) studies death of a salesman under the domain of American dream and the theme of narcissism because he believes that there is a connection between these two in character of Willy Loman. The purpose of his study is “to demonstrate that a close reading of the protagonist, Willy Loman suggests that his notion of success in relation to the American dream can be regarded as narcissistic” (Artan, 2014, p.2). According to Artan, American dream is the main theme of this play and Miller shows it through the characters’ wishes. He believes that Willy Loman is an unsuccessful salesman since he has misunderstood the notion of American dream and the fact that Willy sees success in working hard, the way of speaking, appearance and attractiveness that makes him a narcissist who wants to be superior and be liked by…show more content…
The power that Nietzsche talks about is in contrast of what people usually think about it. It is not a disruptive power which normally powerful people exercise over lower people. It is, in fact, a hygienic power which is a model for many philosophers such as Michel Foucault. This is not a physical power but it is a power of mind over minds. It is a power of self-knowledge and self-mastery, the power of making values and sovereignty. This power exists everywhere and in Nietzsche’s word “life is will to power” (Nietzsche, 1968, p 148).
One of the reasons of Nietzsche’s criticism of herds is the fact that they lack the “will” for having this power. As it was said herds are so weak by themselves since it prevents them from having self-knowledge and self-mastery and that is why there cannot be found any will to power in herd, because they do not know themselves, and consequently do not know what is their goal. As Nietzsche (1968) says ““willing”: means willing an end. “An end” includes an evaluation” (Nietzsche, 1968, p.150) and when someone has this special will to power will inevitably move towards the path of being a
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