Is Willy Loman a Tragic Character?

In the play by Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, the character Willy Loman is in my view the tragic character. His problems come from the delusions in his mind, his lack of understanding towards his family and the American Dream turning into a nightmare because of his personal flaws. His way of thinking is the biggest flaw, he is always consumed with his own desires and dreams that he is stubborn enough to ignore anything that contradicts his beliefs. He is convinced that by being liked he can gain wealth and through wealth comes the ultimate success.

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Don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally paid to such a person (Act 1, 40).

This is relevant to the modern world because every man is trying to find their true self in today’s commercialized world. Everyone feels like they should get a break, and that because they think they deserve wealth and have popularity they should be recognized. Although allot of the time hard work isnt being put out rather its the delusion that they are entitled. People need to wake up and realize that everything is not really what it appears to be.

Willy is unable to learn from his mistakes and realize where he is causing wrong, when he has an affair with a Woman and Biff discovers his father’s infidelity Willy continues with his dreams disregarding the consequences. Biffr’s life is completely destroyed and Willy fails to realize the real reason for his sons failure. He wants pity but he cant even teach his own children how to live successfully (at least they get $20,000 from his insurance). Willy later realizes that he will never amount to the successful businessman he wanted to be, failure after failure, he commits suicide.

Willyr’s tragedy comes from the misconception of the American Dream. He believed that success came from superficial qualities such as being liked. He chose to become a salesman for social acceptance and lied so much to himself and others, as well as lost sight of the importance of his family. After his death he gains freedom and an escape from his life; this makes him the tragic character.

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Is Willy Loman A Tragic Character?. (2019, May 31). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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