Success In Willy Loman's Death Of A Salesman

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Success is a noun which comes from the latin root word, successes, meaning, "an advance, succession, happy outcome.” Success can therefore be defined as an accomplishment of a desired end (dictionary.com). Everyone has his or her own interpretation or definition of what they think success is, but in this interpretation, there is always a common goal at the end. That goal is to have a happy and good outcome. Willy Lowman’s definition of success was skewed, and for this, he did not achieve a happy and good outcome like he may have planned. All Willy Loman ever desired was to be successful. He defined success by having money, prosperous children, and becoming well-liked; however, his interpretation of success led him to his own destruction.…show more content…
Boys! Boys! [Young Biff and Happy appear] Listen to this. This is your Uncle Ben, a great man! Tell my boys, Ben! BEN: Why, boys, when I was seventeen I walked into jungle and when I was twenty-one I walked out. [He laughs] and by God I was rich! WILLY [To the boys]: You see what I been talking about? The greatest things can happen! (Act 1) Willy clings to Ben's material success as tangible evidence of his family's worth. He longs to measure up to the financial success of his brother. In many ways, Ben's success fuels Willy's misguided notion that riches are just around the corner” (Miller, 48). Willy categorizes Ben as perhaps one of the most, if not the most, successful man he knows, for this. Ben played a big role in leading Willy to his own demise. Willy Loman would have done anything to be as “successful” as his brother, but instead Willy stays in his shadow until his death. Willy often imagines Ben talking to him, and in the closing scene the imaginary Ben really did “lead him to his death.” “LINDA, to willy: Come dear! BEN, with greater force,: One must go fetch a diamond out” (Miller, 135). It was almost a fight between Linda and Ben, the reality and the dream of success; in the end, the dream of success…show more content…
Willy needed to feel appreciated, and popular to his community. ”WILLY: He’s liked, but he's not well liked” (Miller, Act 1). Often Willy speaks of the deference of people being liked versus well liked. If you are well-liked, you are successful, if you are only liked, you are not successful. Willy Loman was only liked, but he completely aspired and hoped to be well-liked within his community and workforce of salesmen. No one cared enough, outside of his family, to show Willy that he could have been well-liked. This definition of success did help lead Willy to death. Willy often felt that he lacked something in his life. He said: “WILLY: The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want” (Miller, Act 1). Willy says that if one is liked, then one is never going to lack anything ever again. Because Willy was not fully well-liked, He lacked something. That something was success in his own eyes. This helped lead Willy to his own downfall because he was always lacking and felt unwanted and
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