American Tragedy In Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman

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The prime example of an American tragedy can be found within Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Showcasing a dysfunctional family, the Loman's, and the issues plaguing each of the family members, none of them meet the depressingly low standard of the father, Willy Loman. From an overall drab and tired appearance to the flashbacks that constantly engulf him, Willy Loman stands as the highlight of what a skewed American Dream can do to a person. However, is this the only cause behind Willy Loman's actions? It can be seen that Willy not only has mental issues, but these issues contaminate the lives of those around him. Without his progressive worsening, the plot would not be what it is now. Willy Loman's behavioral downward spiral is due to…show more content…
He is definitely suicidal, as evident through the unveiling of the rubber pipe, testimony that he has been trying to kill himself through his car crashes, and his final appearance on stage ending in death. He believes that he is important in the job that he no longer holds, and he never was very important in his occupation at all. He is also unaware of the fact that he has an issue, denying that he has ever seen the rubber pipe and ignoring the fact that he needs financial help. His decreasing ability to drive and remain focused on the road is also synonymous with psychosis. Biff's behavior causes him to believe that his son is spiting him, although all he is trying to do is help his poor father. Willy will constantly say things that he does the opposite of, such as stating to 'not act like an office boy' yet scrambling to assist his boss in menial tasks. His self contradictory ways can also be supported by this quote, stating"One of the primary characteristics of Willy Loman's character is his penchant for self-contradiction: "Biff is a lazy bum! There's one thing about Biff- he's not lazy.""(Murphy).
The most substantial evidence comes from Willy's hallucinations. Willy's hallucinations cause him to lose track of what's going on in the real world and has trouble distinguishing the two. The final assurance comes from Willy's hallucinations themselves, supplemented by "Visual hallucinations in those with schizophrenia tend to involve vivid scenes with family members, religious figures, and animals." (Teeple, Jason, and Theodore 2). Most of Willy's hallucinations are vivid, realistic, and involve his
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