The death of Salesman by Arthur Miller is a tragic drama about a man, Wily Loman and his family. The story revolves around Willys family and all he and his family goes through in attempt to become successful in life. Despite the fact that Willy is an old man of 63 years, he still has ambitions of becoming successful in life. The story is divided into three acts; act one is all about Willy Lomans life history and his family. The first act begins with Willy Loman resting after getting exhausted with his business trips. He is ambitious of becoming successful after long time of traveling. Willy complains that despite working so hard he has not yet attained his success, but he is still hopeful that he will have the success he always dream of. However, he dreams of having good job with good pay. Unlike the job he was doing which left him with nothing after paying everything to cater for the house rent. Willy feels disappointed with his overgrown son, Biff who has not yet secured any job despite all the inspirations he has given the young man. Wily feels very disappointed with Biff because he has tried to do everything as a father who loves his son. He has tried to inspire him with great ambitions which to him would have motivated the young man.
Willy feels desperate and confused that he is thinking of suicide. But his wife learns about his attempts and informs their children, Biff and Hap about their fathers intentions. The family tries to cheer Willy up by giving him some reasons to be happy. They promise him that they will accompany him to work next time. The second act is about what results after Willy request for better job services from his employer. Instead of promoting or granting the old mans wish, the boss fires him from his job, with the claim that he never did well with his job. He gets more desperate and he request Charley loan on top of the ones he has. On the way he meets Benard who has become successful and is now a lawyer. Later on he goes to a restaurant where he meets his two children, Biff and Hap.
The family is more desperate than ever. Everything never turned out as planed. Willy getting fired and Biff not able to get the loan he applied for only makes the situation harder. Biff realize that his father has been fired and he does not wish to depress him further so he declines from telling him that he never succeeded in securing a loan which they could have used to start up a business with. The scene goes back through flashback when Biff encounters his father who had an affair with another woman. Back to the present, the two boys return home without their father and their mother gets worried that they abandoned their father in the restaurant. Biff becomes desperate too that he has failed his father. Therefore, he plans to leave the house so as end the failures and burden he has brought t his father and family. Willy loves his family and he decides to sneak out of the house in the night and kills himself in a car accident with the hope that his life insurance money will bring a change in his family. He believes that Biff can use that money to start up a business to continue supporting the family. The last act ends by the funeral of Willy which no one has attended except the family. Hap believes in his fathers dream. The whole family is confused out of their fathers death. Biff is so desperate and Linda also feels so lonely. The act ends by Linda asking a rhetoric question as to why Willy did such a thing. The story the death of a salesman by Arthur Miller is a tragic story. Most of the tragic characters are revealed in Willys experience with his family. Willy is a tragic hero in the sense that he goes through a lot of suffering in attempt to fulfill his ambitions. The story can be analyzed in relation to the Greek drama of tragic heroes. Tragic heroes normally struggle with imperfection in attempt to become successful. Willy wishes to have better job with better pay so that he can provide the best for his family. Willy Loman can be classified as a tragic hero from the experiences that he goes through as a way of delivering his family. The challenges he goes through leads to his downfall in the end when he cannot take the depression any longer and he decides to kill himself. It is his experience that influences his thinking and his decision. The miserable and unsuccessful life he has led leads to his decision to commit suicide so that the family can benefit from the $20,000 which he saved as a life insurance. Miller has used Willy Loman in the story to link the contemporary society. Miller tries to compare the old and the modern society and links the two societies with Willy through giving him the tragic traits. Biff also can be said to be a tragic hero in the sense that he also falls as a victim of his own personal vices. He decides to leave his family in New York as a way of reducing desperations his father is going through.
In conclusion, the story The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller is a tragic drama which shows the consequences of decisions. The story tries to show efforts made by Willy Loman as a tragic hero to become successful. As tragic heroes, Willy goes through so many challenges and realizing that despite all the hard work he cannot become successful, he takes away his life.
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