Death Of A Salesman Suicide Essay Paper

Essay on Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman”

Arthur Miller in the play “Death of the Salesman” depicted the main character Willy Loman not as the tragic hero, but as the victim of false striving to “American Dream”.

Willy Loman was not an outstanding person; however, his character is deep in the obsession the obtrusive idea.

To define whether Willy Loman was round or flat character, it is essential to differentiate between those two notions. Round characters are those who are very realistic and complex in their nature, they are usually deep personalities and can equally have good and bad traits of character. Round characters are usually main characters and their mental emotional experiences are developed through the story. Flat characters are those who lack realistic personality. Such characters are stereotypical ones and their personalities are not developed through the story and remain the same. So, it becomes clear that Willy Lowman was the round character.

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Willy Lowman was the person of the middle class, who appeared to be the victim of the society, which played against him. This is how he is described by the person who knew him the best, and probably knew his real nature: “Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived”. Being a victim, he was constantly suppressing himself and his family in false pride and lies. Willy never noticed his personal ignorance, he was insecure and self-deluded person. He believed with all his heart and soul in the idea of the American Dream, in the fact that he could easily gain a lot of money and achieve success, although he never achieved it. He was distinguishing between his dreams and the reality that was around, and when the reality started pushing on him, it hurt severely his mental health. The main conflict of the play is centered on the tremendous tensions of the Willy’s disparity and his social obligations. Willy to some extent is also the tragic hero, as he didn’t achieve self-knowledge and self-realization, even though he achieved the professional understanding of himself and comprehended the sales profession fundamentals. The problem is that he didn’t realize his failure as the person and how he betrayed his own soul and family trying to achieve illusive heights. He was not able to understand himself and he was not listening to the voice of his heart. He appeared to fail the opportunity to perceive the real spiritual, personal and emotional understanding of his personality. He was blinded by his artificially created dream and his mind was too blurred to recognize that. The peak of his “blindness” is his inability to understand that his family loved him very much, and it is the real tragedy of life.

Even though Willy failed in fulfilling of the American Dream, he made the extreme sacrifice in deciding to leave his inheritance to provide the opportunity to his son Biff to end the business of his life. Willy and Biff appear to be two central characters of the play; they are the most developed by the author in their experiences. They had conflicting relationships, which define the family and economic struggle though their dialogues.

Willy’s suicide turns to be the peak of his moral struggle primarily with himself. I think that it was the revelation for him, as he finally received the relief and was set free from the chains of the American Dream. Willy’s death was also opened Biff’s eyes upon the dream of his entire father’s life and he finally comprehends the real Willy: “He had the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong…He never knew who he was.” And in these words there is a deep grief with the acceptance of the destiny. Biff finally understood that material values are not worth to be pursued, and the main objective in each person’s life should be the attempt to understand who he is and what his real predestination at the Earth is.

Willy Loman believed strongly in the idea of the American dream. He was sure that without significant efforts it was possible to get everything he would desire- success and wealth. The fact is that he ever got anything and lived in illusions. Willy’s obsession with “easy” money subsequently led to his psychological and inability to understand what is dream and what is the reality. His disparity was gathering like a snowball and finally led to his suicide.

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The Suicidal Causes of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman

The motives behind Willy's suicide are ambiguous. There are explicit and implicit motives behind Willy's suicide. Even explicit causes are insufficient to justify the grave incident like suicide. Here are some appropriate causes mentioned below. Willy once entertained an ambitious dream. He worked hard to accomplish that dream. Finally, his entire struggle resulted in futility. His life became nothing more than a heap of failures and futility. He realized that his life is nothing more than emptiness. Bitter emptiness and reality of life tormented him.


Arthur Miller (1915-2005)

He came to comprehend that his life is cored like an apple. He saw a big charm between his erstwhile dream-chasing life and his present predicament. To redeem himself from the reality regarding the emptiness and futility of life, Willy Loman committed suicide.

Perhaps Willy Loman committed suicide in order to revenge his sons who neglected their father. Happy, Willy's youngest son, hated his father because Willy, according to Happy, did not love him in much the same way as Willy loved Biff. Happy was aware of the fact that Willy was not giving him an equivalent amount of love which he naturally deserved as a son. Willy, in expectation of Biff, discriminated Happy. Happy used to say to himself "why does not my father love me the way he loves Biff?" Right from his childhood Happy had been making an endeavor to draw the loving attention of his father. But Willy turned his back upon Happy's persistent call to an equivalent amount of attention from him. Happy had felt insulted and offended at this discriminatory behavior of his father. That is why Happy used to hate his father. When Willy became a shameful heap of failures Happy's hatred fueled. In the finality of his life Willy tried to get love and respect from his sons. At that time Happy's hatred exploded. It is natural also for Happy to hate those who hated him. But to render evil for evil is by no means true. To cut the matter short, Willy was disrespected by his son Happy.

Biff Loman was not an exception to the rule. Like Happy, he too hated his father. Willy had expected too much from Bill He compelled Biff to choose the unsuitable direction in career making. Biffs choice of unsuitable field of business prevented him from making progress. Furthermore, Biff's getting trained in Willy's persistent philosophy of American dream rendered him childish even in the stage of his post-adulthood. Even at the stage of his mature adulthood Biff continued to display juvenile behavior. Biff blamed Willy for his failed life. Biffs heart was to see thing with hatred against Willy Loman. Like Happy, Biff also declined to show respect to Willy. In this way Willy Loman came to see how his own sons are disrespecting and neglecting him. It is, of course, excruciatingly painful to see himself being treated mercilessly by his sons. At the moment of helpless plight, nothing is more hurtful than cruel treatment at the hand of those whom one believed most. To take revenge on his sons because they treated him cruelly, Willy Loman committed suicide. This is one of the plausible causes behind Willy's fateful act of committing suicide.

Willy Loman's suicide can also be interpreted as a demonstration of his power. Due to the failure of his dream Willy felt horrendously humiliated. From the company where he spent the productive period of the life working as a salesman, he received no economic security. On the contrary, he was kept in an economically helpless quandary. Contrary to his expectation, he was at first, demoted; and then dismissed by Howard. Economically helpless and emotionally loveless, Willy had to depend upon Charlie. His own sons became shining symbols of failures. These attractive examples of failure threw Willy to the chaos and the chasm of powerlessness. Willy knew Linda knew, his sons knew, Charlie knew, and everyone knew that Willy is powerless that he is too powerless to take action. To defeat them in their presumption, to prove that he is still powerful Willy committed suicide. Hence, it seems fair to claim that Willy's suicide is an expression of his power.

Willy's suicide is an expression of his courage. People are by nature, fearful of death. They are afraid to die. Nobody shows courage to affirm his/her life by yielding to death. To succumb to death with a view to display courage is to affirm life. Willy's suicide is an indirect way of affirming life. It is an exhibition of courage.

To become victorious Willy Loman committed suicide. To put forward strong evidence that I am victorious, not defeated, Willy committed suicide. To give at least a certain measure of financial security Willy Loman committed suicide. By dying his own hand have Willy Loman made a profitable deal with a view to give his sons a small fortune of $20,000 of his insurance policy. At the last moment he knew that his sons love him really, his heart was filled with a certain degree of gratefulness to his sons. Thus, he decided to give them some economic fortune. On the spur of that moment he committed suicide. Hence, his suicide is a stroke of his victory, an expression of his gratefulness to his sons for they loved him.

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