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Willy Loman as a Tragic Hero in Death of a Salesman


Argue if Willy Loman is indeed tragic or not? As seen in the work of Miller, one would conclude that the death of Willy is not a tragic one. Willy struggles to be in touch with reality. This makes fail to achieve his dreams. In the work, Willy struggles to come to terms with the decisions that he makes. He believes that at one time he will own his business and he hopes that he will be the envy of every person. Willy says that “…someday I’ll have my own business, and I’ll never have to leave home…bigger than Uncle Charlie! He’s liked, but he’s not –well-liked…” (Miller23).

However, the character is not lucky as plans do not go his way, as his business does not make as much money as he wished. Misfortunes follow him endlessly starting from his inability to pay an insurance fee. Uncle Charlie scolds him for insisting on a job that does not even sustain his lifestyle after Willy asks for a loan from him, “…Charlie: Without pay? What kind of job is a job without pay?…” (Miller 76). To make matters worse, Willy refuses to work for Uncle Charlie and insists that he has his own way of survival (Miller, 76). In this context, it is arguable that the character creates his own problems and does not wish to swallow his pride to solve them.

His continuous insistence to lead his miserable lifestyle is one that would lead to the readers not sharing in his agony as he shapes his own misfortunes. He recalls the life of his father, how successful he was as a salesman and hopes to earn 40$ a week, but one would question the effort he puts towards this dream. (Miller, 63-4) “…do you know? When he died- and by the way, he died the death of a salesman…” (Miller 63). It is until his death that one would blame him for not changing his lifestyle to be like that of his brother Ben. His denial character leads to his death not a tragic one but a contemplated one.

Work Cited
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2007. Print.

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