• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Attention. Attention must be paid! How far do you agree with Lindas view that Willy Loman is a significant tragic figure?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Attention. Attention must be paid!" How far do you agree with Linda's view that Willy Loman is a significant tragic figure? In this play, Willy Loman is presented as a person in a ruthless world, trying to achieve set goals and to fulfil his ambitions, or even just trying to survive each day, in a society which has become strange and hostile. It is worth thinking about what Arthur Miller really wanted this man to portray - is Loman deserving of the title of a tragic figure or hero who had tried to do his best in the circumstances, or is he just a loser responsible only for his own choices and mistakes? At face value, even his name seems to suggest he is meant to be the underdog, when you separate 'Lo/w' and 'man'. The title of the play with 'Death of...' is an obvious sign that Loman is indeed at least involved in a tragedy as he dies. Even though he is the head of the family and the breadwinner compared to Linda's lesser housekeeping role, throughout the play he does not have complete control over his family and his sons do not appear to respect him as a father, although it could be argued there are reasons why this is. ...read more.

Middle

The hero usually dies as a direct result of that flaw, because only this flaw is crucial in allowing the catastrophic series of unstoppable events to occur. Willy Loman clearly does not fit into the first requirement of a tragic hero. He is not born with status, and although it's not really said he is probably in the working class. Miller wanted to portray a different character, and reject the common tragic mode. In his writing 'Tragedy and the Common Man' he justified the common man being as apt a subject for tragedy in saying that Loman is a character ready to make sacrifices to secure his personal dignity, like most of us, and status is irrelevant. The traditional tragic heroes were motivated by high passions but Miller suggests these are no more admirable than Loman's determination to be liked - he says to his sons "Be liked and you will never want." So Willy's flaw in acting out against what degraded him is not like the classic tragic flaw, but the fear tied in with his actions are. Miller wrote, "...the disaster inherent in being torn away from our chosen image of what and who we are in this world...today ...read more.

Conclusion

The lesson is supposed to be learned that in Biff's own words, that is a "phoney dream....burn it before something happens." Willy Loman's life and death raises the question of what we as the audience live for. For many, things like material success and wealth in life mean an incredible amount, and maybe even the difference between happiness and misery. The play shows that he is under a lot of psychological pressure, and feels guilt a lot of the time, even when things are probably out of his control. The external world is like an ideal of standards which must be met. The tension is built up until things are intolerable. We see Willy at the end of his career, so it is like we have not even seen the whole story, suggesting there is a bigger picture of huge problem with American society. Despite his failures, Loman has enough similarities to a normal person to make him almost a tragic figure, because tragedy is the most accurately balanced portrayal of a human being struggling to achieve. Linda's view holds a lot of weight because all in all the treatment of Willy Loman is unfair. It is a need for any human to hold dignity at all costs, and Loman certainly does prove that he wants his. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Arthur Miller essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Death of a Salesman: Is Willy Loman a tragic hero or a tragic victim?

    5 star(s)

    trait is certainly present in Willy: "Call out the name Willy Loman and see what happens!" This excessive pride means that Willy believes himself capable of accomplishing the American Dream to the point of delusion; he cannot accept failure and becomes unhealthily obsessed, leading to an inevitable downward spiral.

  2. Peer reviewed

    To what extent is Willy Loman a tragic hero?

    3 star(s)

    and be financially secure, shows him as a tragic hero because he feels a sense of shame and guilt for his actions, "I'll make it all up to you, Linda." Music is also heard throughout the play, it is used to represent Willy's inability to focus on reality.

  1. Quotes from All My Sons

    if it is done for the family "But I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were" p170 Shows Keller's change of mind he can no longer justify war profiteering through his family he now believes he has social and moral responsibility Moral Responsibility "I...

  2. Character Analysis - Willy Loman

    He tells Bernard to give Biff the answers. This is a bad thing to teach his sons but it also shows he has no real control over what his sons do, or does not what to. He is also shown to be very protective over Biff as when Bernard tries to say bad things about him, he tells him to "shut up".

  1. "A view from the bridge".

    From the very beginning of the play Alfieri hints towards tragedy, he does this a few times in his prologue, for example, he says: "I am inclined to see the ruin in things," This tells the audience or readers straight away, at the beginning of the play that Alfieri can see that Eddie's story is going to end in disaster.

  2. An Analysis of the Dramatic Impact of the Restaurant Scene in Death of a ...

    is a buyer staying in a room next door who needed to shower in Willy?s room, because her room was being painted. Biff then, astonished, sits on his suitcase, crying silently, and not buying his father?s lies at all. Willy says he will go talk to the math teacher, but in tears, Biff says he should forget it.

  1. Free essay

    "Linda: I don't say he's a great man... He's not the finest character that ...

    Another way that Willy is common is the language that he uses for example at the end of act one he says, "Gee, look at the moon moving between the buildings!" When he says "gee" this is a slang word making him common.

  2. Is it fair to say that Beatrice is a tragic victim in A View ...

    the start of the play Miller shows the audience that Beatrice notices Eddie?s attitude towards Catherine however she ignores it. Nevertheless when it comes to the end of the play Beatrice?s irritation with Eddie leads her to confront him. Miller could be inferring that Beatrice?s kindness is what leads her

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work