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Character Analysis - Willy Loman

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Emily Rugg Character Analysis Willy Loman Arthur Miller introduces us to the character of Willy through the stage directions at the start of the play. Our first impression of Willy is that of an old, tired, hardworking man who gets home after everybody is in bed. We then learn that he has mood swings and massive dreams. As soon as Willy enters the house we get the feeling that something is wrong with the fact that he is home, as Linda calls "with some trepidation". She then asks him if he has crashed the car again. This implies that he has done it before and is a danger on the road. When talking to Linda about what happened when he was driving he says "I cant seem to - keep my mind to it". This gives us the first indication about his state of mind, and, as he finds it hard to get the words out, that he shows some difficulty in telling the truth about his failure. We learn of his inner dream of living in the countryside and growing carrots, but he is hiding this dream under the dream of being successful as a businessman. A bit later we get an idea of how successful Willy is. Willy tries to blame his unsuccessfulness on the fact the Frank Wagner is no longer alive and his son, Howard, does not like him. We then learn that Biff, his favourite son, works on a farm. Willy does not approve of this and says "How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmland?" This is completely contradicting his inner dream. This shows that he is confused about what he really wants. Also, when talking about Biff he uses quite aggressive language such as "goddammit!" This indicates that he has something against him, which could be just the fact that he is working on a farm. ...read more.


Willy however does not agree with this and says that if you call out his name it will show how successful he is. This again shows that his does not want to loose the respect of his family. He feels very threatened by Biff's opinion of him and how he does not ft in. this could be because he knows that this is true, but does not want to admit it. Because of this he tries to impress him by telling him about the ceiling he has put up. Biff then tells him about how he is going to go and see Bill Oliver. Willy's mood changes dramatically after this and becomes a lot happier. Willy gets very involved in the idea and tries to give his advice although it is not always good advice. He then tells Biff to start "with a couple of good stories to lighten things up". This is the way in which he acts and the way in which he told Linda he shouldn't act. This indicates that he is incapable of giving good advice. At the end of act one Biff takes the piping from the cellar, which shows us that even though everyone has become more positive, suicide is still on Willy's mind. Linda Loman Linda is introduced to us as a loving character and we are told she "admires" Willy. Linda is shown to accept all the Willy says and tries to make excuses for him. For example when Willy tells her that he was driving off the shoulder she says that it may have been the steering. Linda seems to act like a mother would to their son. She tells him to "take an aspirin". This shows her care for him and shows that she wants the best for him. She seems worried for his welfare all throughout the first act. She tries to do the best for him which is shown when she tries to buy him some new cheese. ...read more.


And by God I was rich." This is the only story we are told of how Ben became rich. It shows that there is no formula of how to become successful, and in Ben's case it was mainly down to luck. However a little later he tells Biff "never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You'll never get out of the jungle that way." This indicates that Ben got rich through cheating, and that is the only way in which he believes it is possible. He is then shown to be dismissive towards Willy's career when he says "what do you do?" this indicates that he does not think highly of what Willy does as a career, but does not say it. The whole idea of Ben's success is a little ironic because he gained the American dream, but he only did this by leaving America. Ben is also shown to encourage the bad behaviour in Willy's sons. He does not distinguish between the fearless characters in jail and the fearless characters in the stock exchange. This shows that he has no idea of what is right and what is wrong, which indicates that he does not act morally in business. Charlotte Charlotte is the woman that Happy went out with, with Biff. She is having an affair with Happy as she is going to get married in five weeks. She is used to show Happy's disrespect for women and his belief that it is the way to get successful. He wants to get rid of her, which shows that all he wanted from her was to be reassured that he is better that her husband-to-be. The Woman The Woman was a secretary for a store that Willy sold to, and she would put him through to see the buyers. The Woman is younger than Linda so represents a younger side to Willy. Though she only plays a small part in the play, her presence affects many characters. For example the way in which Biff acts towards Willy is very affected by the Woman. ...read more.

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