In society, people that deviate too far from the norm are often ostracized and are doomed to fail. In the book The Great Gatsby, an example of an outsider is Gatsby. Gatsby devotes his life to fitting in, yet as an outsider he never truly does. Another example of an outcast would be Willie from Death of a Salesman.
Have you ever considered what implications your own culture, upbringing, and source of wealth have had on your social ranking within society? It’s a rather complex and philosophical question that only few have truly taken the time to consider. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald undertakes this inquiry and demonstrates his answer to this ambiguous question through a series of catastrophic events as depicted through numerous characters - most notably, Jay Gatsby. Mr. Gatsby is long regarded within the novel as a suspect character when it comes to his source of wealth. Unlike Tom Buchanan, Gatsby wasn't born into a wealthy family, and instead had to “earn” his fortune.
Willy Loman was a troubled man who didn't have respect for his wife and degraded his children every chance he got when it came to their failures, especially with his son Biff. He only cared about achieving the American dream which he did not succeed because of all his problems that stood in his way. His constant obsession with achieving the American dream only made his family distance themselves from him more only due to the fact that he believed that achieving this would lead him to happiness and success. This also leads to the other major theme which is resilience. Willy came from a poor socioeconomic background and he is making all the efforts to pull himself out of his current situation through whatever he can do in hopes for something better that will make him feel like he's achieved his
Because of his faith in the American Dream, he happily conforms to stereotypes within society and easily bows down to the pressure of society. However as his life starts to spiral out of control and he loses his job, he is forced to question the values of success and the idea that happiness can made possible by hard work and effort. Willy becomes conflict between his desire to conform and succeed in his society, and his despair over the fact that success seems unreachable which causes him to examine the very essence of the American
In addition to being contradictory, Willy is also very insecure. In fact, when Willy confesses to Linda that business is not doing well, he expresses his insecurities by saying, “I’m fat. I’m very-foolish to look at, Linda.” Lastly, another trait that Willy possesses is suicidal.
Willy’s inability to move beyond the person he once was is reflected in his constantly distorted perceptions of reality. Willy’s confused perceptions of reality, where often hallucinating, blur the lines between past and present. Willy is burdened by regret and unfulfilled dreams, clinging to the hope of reclaiming his former successes: “Oh, Ben, how do we get back to all the great times?”. This demonstrates his fixation on an era in which he felt accomplished and significant.
Also in a sense wanted to be “well-liked”. He wanted to be a big-shot in society. He had the social status of the wealthy, but had very few if any close friends. He like Willy manages to isolate himself in general from people. Willy commits suicide.
Willy is constantly projecting his mistakes onto his sons and making them feel as if they are less causing them to fall back on what they almost had going for themselves. In a heated argument, Biff comes forward to Willy expressing that he is not capable of the dreams Willy has for Biff and in that, Willy begins with “I am not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman, and you are Biff Loman!” followed by Biff as he says to Willy “I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were never anything but a hard working drummer who landed in the ash can like all the rest of them!”
Through his vivid memories, Willy re-experiences his unfortunate decisions to reject opportunity. Willy experiences several instances in which he was “provided with a better opportunity” (Miller 25) to change his life, but “adamantly refuses (38)”. Throughout the drama, Charley, Willy’s friend, tries to “change [Willy’s] life for the better (29)” and even offers Willy a job which Willy “ungraciously turn[s] down (28)”. His decision not to take the job “haunts [Willy]” (45) for the remainder of the novel.
He has a Job, two kids, and a wife. Willy is a salesman who dreams to be like his role model, Dave Singleman. Singleman - in Willy perspective- had the ultimate successful life, as expressed in this quote: "Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eighty-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?" [Act 2] Willy believed that success, was equivalent to how well liked he was. Willy's 'flaw' was his foolish pride, his persistence of achieving "his rightful status".
However, pursuing this goal came with a price. Since he was highly motivated to becoming a successful salesman, he rarely stayed at home. Instead, he spent most of his time travelling around the country to conduct sales. He became a workaholic, forcing himself to make sacrifices in his family life in order to seek his own ambitions. Therefore, Willy’s perfectionistic ideals led to his demise.
This shows how willy can not admit his failure to his family. The main character Willy doesn’t want to show how deeply down he had fallen and is starting to lose hope on his