Death Of A Salesman By Essay


Willy's "psychopathy," he explained, is a manifestation of his being "other-directed" -- or possessing a value system entirely determined by external norms…evidence that goes beyond normal human inconsistency into the realm of severe internal division" (3). The author's analysis illustrates that Willy's "psychopathy" is an inevitable and consistent result of his constant dreaming about success and wealth using the wrong approach. Knowing that he has failed himself and his family, Willy tried to compensate for this by holding strong to the belief that he will eventually prevail, that personality and charisma would save him and his family from poverty. As a result, Willy isolated himself from his family, simply by not sharing the realities that his wife and sons are experiencing, being poor and in constant conflict with Willy's ideals. Indeed, the psychological trauma that plagued Willy upon realizing that he has grown old and did not succeed in the "American dream standards" became unbearable that he decided to kill himself. As the slave of the capitalist ideal of succeeding and getting rich through luck and chance imprisoned and isolated Willy from his reality and family. This created a void between him and his family, which he realized too late to fill in and remedy.

Willy's stubborn belief that success is possible through personal relations and charisma has paralyzed...


Kushner (2005) argues that the "obnoxious valorization of greed" prevailed in Willy's mind, leading him to pursue dreaming about wealth and success without working hard for it (3). Miller consciously portrayed people's belief in the importance of personality and charisma to succeed in life, and this is strongly marked in the play when Biff exclaimed to Willy, "Pop, I'm dime a dozen, and so are you!" This reference to Willy and Biff himself as 'failures' mirrors the weakness of American society during this time, wherein greed motivated people's attitude and behavior. Using this wrong approach, Willy failed to achieve the utopia or ideal, which is to be an example of an American dream fulfilled. Armed with the wrong tools (personality and charisma), he met (and decided) his tragic end when the new modern society proved too big for him and his "tools" to manipulate and take advantage of. This, ultimately, marks the downfall and tragic end of Miller's "hero," Willy Loman, in Death of a Salesman.

Cardullo, B. (2007). "Death of a Salesman, Life of a Jew: Ethnicity, Business and the Character of Willy Loman." Southwest Review, Vol. 92, Issue 4.

Kushner, T. (2005). "Kushner on Miller." Nation, Vol. 280, Issue 23.

Miller, a. (1998). Death of a Salesman. NY: Penguin.

Sources Used in Documents:


Cardullo, B. (2007). "Death of a Salesman, Life of a Jew: Ethnicity, Business and the Character of Willy Loman." Southwest Review, Vol. 92, Issue 4.

Kushner, T. (2005). "Kushner on Miller." Nation, Vol. 280, Issue 23.

Miller, a. (1998). Death of a Salesman. NY: Penguin.

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