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Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman

Willy Loman is responsible for his own downfall. Willy finds his own

hero and tries to become the hero in his own existence. Willy tries to become a

very successful businessman, at the start of his career he thinks that no one

can tell him what to. Willy is not good with people, he is good with his hands,

he is not a good salesman and he chooses the wrong career. Willy often makes up

stories or changes the stories he knows because he cannot face the truth of his

life that he has not accomplished as much as he has planned. Willy’s downfall

is his own doing which is brought about by his unrealistic dreams, his pride,

his career choice and his failure to manage life’s problems.

Willy, at a young age, noticed an old salesman who worked at an age of

80 and made a lot of money. The old salesman took orders from no one, he made

his own orders and everyone did as the old man said. When the old salesman,

Dave Singleman dies, all the buyers came to his funeral. All the people Dave

ever knew came. There were thousands mourning his death. From that point,

Willy Loman found an awesome dream which he followed the rest of his life.

Willy became a salesman. Willy is the most unqualified salesman ever! He never

sold a thing. Willy stops seeing the truth at one point of his life and he

relies on his own lies to numb his pain. The pain of knowing he cannot and wont

be able to become Dave Singleman. He is Willy Loman, who is good at fixing the

house. He is not cut out for travelling from city to city and selling goods to

people he has never met before. Willy dramatically dies living out his dream,

the dream that never suited Willy Loman.

Willy does not allow people to tell him what to do. He believes that he

cannot be bossed around and that he is too important to fall under anyone’s

authority but his own. Willy teaches Biff and Happy not to take orders from

anyone. He thinks this will make Biff, Happy and himself successful, but it is

in fact a major contribution to Willies failure. Willy did not become a “Big

Shot” meaning he did not become important to the field of retail. Willy thought

he was a “big shot” when he was not and this must have made people angry because

he is not liked by many people. People have to earn their importance. They

cannot just be important overnight. This lack of status contributes to his co-

workers disrespect.

Willy accomplishes less when he works compared to working and staying at

home. Willy fixed up his house with great skill and ease. Willy’s family

appreciates the things Willy does for the house and the family. They share many

happy memories of him working on the house. Willy is suited at a job that

requires hard labour rather than being a salesman. Biff says in the novel that

Willy puts more work in the house than he ever did at work. This is not true

because Willy paid off the house because of his job but in a sense it is true

because Willy put his whole life into being a salesman and if he put his life

into being a carpenter he probably would have accomplished much more than just

paying off the house. Thus manual labour brought Willy enjoyment but he rejected

it in his pursuit of the American Dream.

Willy Makes up stories or changes stories because his life so

uninteresting. He is not doing anything with his life and this depresses Willy.

He often says that he will take care of the problem first thing in the morning.

When Willy wakes up he intentionally forgets about all his problems and goes on

with his life. These problems accumulate until Willy loses control. Willy ends

up killing himself because of the overwhelming amount of lingering problems.

Willy Loman thinks he is an important figure but in reality he is an

ordinary person. Willy cannot take orders from anyone and this does not allow

him to gain respect from others. Willy chooses the wrong career and does not

accomplish much during his life because of his poor career choice. Willy Also

never faces the truth and blocks out his problems until there are too numerous

to handle. These four reasons show that Willy is responsible for his own

downfall and ruins his and his families lives.


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