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Death of salesman / Willy Loman

The very name of the protagonist seems to be the pun. The author presents Willy Loman being somehow predestined to be a “low man”. However the protagonist is likely to have had an alternative. Loman believes whole-heartedly in what he regards as the earnest of the American Dream – that a personally “attractive” and a “well-liked” person in business would surely and deservedly obtain the material comfort proposed by the contemporary American life. Oddly enough, his obsession with such superficial qualities as likeability and attractiveness is at odds with a more rewarding and a more gritty understanding of the American Dream. Contrary to Willy’s delusions, however American Dream identifies with working hard without complaint and passing the buck, as the key to success. Loman’s understanding of attractiveness is superficial. He childishly envies and hates his nephew Bernard because he believes the latter to be a nerd. Willy Loman’s blind faith in such a stunted version of the American Dream leads to prompt psychological decline as soon as eh finds himself unable to accept the discrepancy between the real life and his dreams (Martin 236). Willy Loman’s life is in fact a course from one abandonment to another, making him desperate each time. Willy’s father leaves his brother Ben and him when they are young, leaving the brothers neither money nor any intangible legacy. Ben ultimately leaves for Alaska, leaving his brother to lose himself in his warped version of American Dream. As a result of that early experience, Willy develops his fear of solitude that makes him desire his family to his view of American Dream (Cullen 190) His efforts to bring perfect sons up though reflect his impotence to understand reality. Willy’s elder son Biff, who embodies the promise for Willy, drops his father as well as his fervent ambitions for him as soon as he becomes aware of Willy’s infidelity. Biff’s ongoing impotence to be success in business increases his estrangement from Willy. When at Frank’s Chop House, Willy Loman after all believes that his elder son is on the turning point of greatness. Biff breaks his father’s illusions and eventually abandons babbling and deluded Willy in the lavatory. Throughout the whole play Willy’s primary obsession is what he supposes to be Biff’s betrayal of his ambition for him. Willy thinks that he is entitled to expect Biff to carry out the promise inherent to him. When Biff refuses to fulfill his father’s ambitions for him, Willy takes that rejection as a personal insult, associating Biff’s refusal with “spite”. Furthermore, Willy is a salesman so Biff’s rebuff ultimately crushes his ego for Willy founds himself unable to sell him American dream – the product to which Willy believes himself to be the most faithful. Willy supposes that his son’s betrayal derives from Biff’s discovery of Willy’s betrayal of Linda’s, his wife’s love – an affair with The Woman. Whereas Willy perceives that has betrayed him, Biff becomes aware of his father’s being a “phony little fake”, that has betrayed him with his endless flow of his ego stroking lies (Hurell 74). He often dreams about his late elder brother Ben visiting him. Long ago in his seventeen Ben had left parents’ home for Alaska and eventually found a diamond vein somewhere in Africa and thus became rich. Since then Ben has been an embodiment of American

Death of salesman / Willy Loman