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Death Of A Salesman: Willy’s Life Is An Illusion Essay, Research Paper

Death of a Salesman: Willy’s Life Is An Illusion

Charley says something in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman that sums

up Willy’s whole life. He asks him, “When the hell are you going to grow up?”

Willy’s spends his entire life in an illusion. He sees himself as a great man

that is popular and successful. Willy exhibits many childlike qualities. Many

of these qualities have an impact on Willy’s family. His two sons Biff and

Happy pick up this behavior from their father. He is idealistic, stubborn, and

he has a false sense of his importance in the world.

Willy is like an impetuous youngster with high ideals and high hopes.

Children always have high hopes for their future. They all want to be

astronauts or millionaires. Willy always believes he can achieve that kind of

success. He never lets go of his wasted life. He dreams of being the man who

does all of his business out of his house and dying a rich and successful man.

Furthermore, Willy also dreams of moving to Alaska where he could work with his

hands and be a real man. Biff and Happy follow in their father’s footsteps in

their lofty dreams and unrealistic goals. Biff wastes his life being a thief

and a loner; furthermore, Biff, along with happy try to conjure up a crazy idea

of putting on a sporting goods exhibition. The problem with Willy is that he

never grows up and deals with his obstacles.

Willy is also a very stubborn man. He is like a little child that wants

to do something their way even though they know that another option would be the

wiser choice. Charley practically sets a potential job into Willy’s lap and he

refuses it. Willy just was fired and needed a job. He refuses one. Willy is

too stubborn to let go of his old job and take a new one. He still believes

that he is at the top of his profession. When Willy does not get his way he

acts just as a child would. He has tantrums such as when he basically

challenged Charley to a fight after he told him to grow up. Biff is also

stubborn like his father. He never gives up being a child. He steals and lies.

Biff cannot handle being ignored, so he steals a pen. Willy’s childlike

stubbornness hampers him throughout his life.

Willy, like most children thinks that he is more important than he

actually is. During the whole story, he brags himself up, calling himself a

great salesman. He says that he is known everywhere. When his funeral is to

occur, Willy believed that it will be a major event. Many will come to pay

their respects to New England’s greatest salesman. He is just an old broken

down man who never was good at his job. Willy is not well known. Few attend his

funeral. When one is a child, they believe that they are more important than

they really are. As people grow older they realize that they are just one of

many in the world. Willy Loman never does realize this fact. Biff and Happy

never realize it either. They continue to believe that the Lomans are an

extraordinary family above all others. After Willy dies, Happy proclaims that

he will continue his fathers quest as the great salesman. Biff believes that

the Lomans are not liked because they are rough and tough men who use their

hands. Willy goes

through his entire life believing that is a great, well known, and well-liked


Willy Loman is a child trapped in a man’s body. He never lets go of his

dreams. He does not come to grips with his failure as a salesman, father, and

husband. Willy runs away from responsibility, and he asks others for handouts

when in need. These traits have a negative impact Biff and Happy throughout

their lives. At the end of his life he lives with delusions of what his life

was and is. Willy never does grow up.

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