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

Miller presents Will Loman as a failure in many aspects of his life. To what extent do you agree with the view that Willy Loman is chiefly a failure as a husband?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Miller presents Willy Loman as a failure in many aspects of his life. To what extent do you agree with the view that Loman is chiefly a failure as a husband? Willy Loman's lack of success as a husband is one of his main failings and one of the key strands of the play. However this, and his other major failing (as a father), can both be traced back to his failure to truly know himself and to achieve anagnorisis. His insecurities concerning his own sense of self, as well as his reluctance or inability to accept that there is a difference between what he imagines and reality, define his life as they contribute to his failings and lead, ultimately, to his demise. Willy Loman can certainly be considered to be a failure as a husband. His marriage to Linda appears to be somewhat unstable: while she speaks affectionately to him, referring to him as "dear" and trying to, as the stage directions say, "bring him out" of his illusionary episodes, he snaps at her, demanding childishly that he wants "Swiss cheese". Only a few lines later he refers to her as "sweetheart", telling her that she is his "foundation and... ...read more.

Middle

This too, is the real cause of his failure as a father, particularly in regards to Biff. In this case, he projects his own feelings of insecurity, his own desire for success, on to Biff. One of his first remarks about Biff is that "he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!" It is clear here that Willy does not care if Biff is "finding himself" or if "all... [he] really desire[s] is to be outdoors, with... [his] shirt off": Biff is not making a success of himself in the business world, he is not earning real money, and therefore he is a "lazy bum" and a "disgrace". However, Willy's declaration that "not finding yourself at the edge of thirty-four is a disgrace!" seems to ring false: the vehemence in this statement, emphasised by the exclamation mark, suggests that Willy is drawing attention away from the fact that he hasn't found himself either. Willy's refusal to accept reality, that Biff isn't going to be a businessman or a salesman and has no desire to be one either, is further emphasised in his mythologisation of the past. When talking to Linda, Willy describes how, when Biff came out onto the football field on "the greatest day of his life" he looked "like a young god. ...read more.

Conclusion

His assertion that Linda is his "foundation and... support" is painfully accurate: he appears to see her only in terms of what she can do for him. This obsession with himself and his desires, driven by his failure to understand who he is, also causes him to be a failure as a father: he cannot detach his own dreams from those of his children and cannot see them as truly separate entities. Their future, he believes, should be governed by the way in which he sees the world: this not only alienates him from Biff but leads Happy on the same disastrous course as his own life. Underpinning this is the fact that Willy Loman is unsure of his actions and destiny and that he deludes himself in order to disguise this. The construct of Ben, who is never confirmed as existing except through Willy's eyes, emphasises just how removed from reality Willy has become and how he is determined to see the world as he imagines it, not as it really is. He is, as Biff says a man who "had the wrong dreams" and it his failure to see that his dreams are wrong, his failure to fully understand why they are wrong and to therefore achieve anagnorisis, that is the chief failure of Willy Loman's life. ...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

    To what extent is Willy Loman a tragic hero?

    3 star(s)

    It could be said that this is the key view which makes Willy a tragic hero because if you were to compare themes from 'Death of a Salesman' to a traditional tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet then you could say that "fate" is what killed Willy, he is a

  2. Quotes from All My Sons

    studied a certain disease. It was beautiful. And then she came, and she cried. And I went back home with her. And now I live in the usual darkness" p160 Repetition of she and her Jim sacrifices his dream of being a researcher he is not living the American dream "I was the beast...

  1. Explore the relationship between Linda and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.

    However, she conceals the truth in order to protect her husband. Linda is described as the personification of family. She holds the family together by encouraging her husband and shielding him from heartbreak. She supports Willy's confidence and supports him against criticism.

  2. Character Analysis - Willy Loman

    when he admits that when talking about his car earlier he was in-fact talking about the car that he had years before. Willy then goes into his first flashback in the play. We are shown that Willy's attitude towards Biff is very different to that of his attitude now.

  1. In the light of critical opinions discuss Millers exploration of the American Dream in ...

    one example being "I'll make it all up to you Linda, I'll -" (Page 25, Act 1) The shifts also reveal the truth, which is not distorted by Willy's perceptions of events. This is a key aspect in the play as the rest of the play is influenced by Willy or Biff's take on events.

  2. "Willy is a good father and husband. Do you agree?"

    Linda-"That all these accident in the last year - weren't - weren't - accidents." He is failing as a business man and knows that his life insurance, if he died, would support them more than he is at this present moment in time.

  1. Joe Keller is a tragic hero

    A prime example of the clash between realism and idealism is the argument between Joe and Chris: "I was dying every day and you were killing boys and you did it for me? What the hell do you think I was thinking of, the goddam business?

  2. To what extent is Willy Loman betrayed in the play Death of a Salesman?

    Throughout the play, details of Willy?s childhood and infancy isn?t mentioned apart from when he reminisces with Ben about the past, the audience then learn of his father?s occupation (?gadget inventor?)and how him and the family had travelled by means of a ?wagon? across the country.

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