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Death of a Salesman. In this passage, in Act I, Linda, Biff and Happy are discussing Willys detoriating mental state. Biffs anger, Willys pitiful description and Lindas extreme loyalty makes this moment so moving and tragic

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Introduction

Arthur Miller?s tragedy, ?Death of a Salesman?, charts the mental and emotional collapse of Willy Loman, a dreamer of epic proportions. In this passage, in Act I, Linda, Biff and Happy are discussing Willy?s detoriating mental state. Biff?s anger, Willy?s pitiful description and Linda?s extreme loyalty makes this moment so moving and tragic for the audience to witness. Biff is extremely ignorant and hateful towards Willy in this scene, which he is for most of the play. This makes it especially sad for the audience to watch, because they have just, in the previous scene, seen the younger Biff in Willy?s imagination treating Willy like a role model. The contrast between the past and the present gives them a feeling of catharsis. Biff shows extreme care for Linda, even noticing her hair looking ?grey? and not wanting her ?looking old?, but doesn?t spare a thought for Willy, ?lamely? saying that he ?meant him too?. The fact that he loves one parent but not the other creates a big rift in the relationships within the family, and makes the audience feel pity for Willy. ...read more.

Middle

Linda gives an insight into the inner workings of his mind when she describes ?the closer (Biff) seems to come, the more shaky he gets?. This emphasises his vulnerability, and his physical shaking imitates his mental insecurities. The fact that he is afraid of his own son portrays him as a love deprived character. The communication problems between him and Biff also show the divide within the family and Willy?s extreme loneliness. Linda says that ?one day there will be strange people here?, this statement being extremely ironic as Willy is already regarded as ?strange? by most people, including Biff. The fact that Willy?s death is near also adds to the dark irony. Linda also says that Willy ?likes to have a letter just to know there are possibilities for better things, revealing his dreamy and hopeful thoughts for the future, as all his hopes till now have crumbled. This is extremely tragic for the audience to observe, as despite all of his efforts to achieve his mountainous dreams, Willy always comes up short. ...read more.

Conclusion

She consistently shows support for him throughout the play, she asks him questions about his wife, asks him if she can do anything to help him, and scolds Biff and Happy at the end for abandoning him in the washroom. Willy even calls her his ?foundation and support?. He is the ?dearest man in the world?, but what makes her devotion so sad is that Willy never truly realizes how much she loves him, and that he does not have to impress her. The tragic description of her ?threat of tears? adds to the hopelessness of her love. She can, ultimately, despite her enormous efforts, do nothing to stop Willy?s demise, which is what makes it sad for the audience. This passage is one of the most poignant moments in the play, as it reveals Willy?s enormous troubles and the rift in the Loman family. From this point onwards, it is obvious the play will conclude tragically. Ultimately, ?Death of a Salesman? is about the troubles of a common man, which makes it so relatable to the audience. ...read more.

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