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Death Of A Salesman-Willy The VIctim and Victmizer

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Introduction

Death Of A Salesman Willy: A Victim and Victimizer "We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images." These were the word spoken by John Gardner and describe exactly what a reader goes through in Miller's "Death of a Salesman." A victim is the one against whom the act is perpetrated against and the victimizer is the abuser of the crime. Throughout "Death of a Salesman," the main character Willy Loman both victimzes his wife and two sons and is also victimized. Linda, who is Willy's loyal wife, is victimized by Willy through disrespect. Willy Loman usually has no time for her, he show impatience towards her and responds to her very abruptly. Willy complains when she buys a new type of cheese and throughout the play, he yells at her often when she is mending her stockings. LINDA: Oliver always though the highest of him - WILLY: Will you let me talk? ...read more.

Middle

I don't know what to do. (Miller, pg. 60) Furthermore, Willy also victimizes his son Biff and has many flashback memories of his son. Willy's feelings towards Biff are very strong and though he has two sons, he seems more inclined towards pleasing Biff. Willy loves Biff and has high expectations for him and at the end of the play, he thinks he has done Biff a favour by committing suicide. When he was young, Willy could find no fault with Biff and does not scold him for cheating or stealing. Once, Willy asks Bernard to give Biff the answers for the test and hence teaches his son immoral behaviour of cheating to get ahead in life. As a result, Biff is victimized because he grows up not knowing the real difference between right and wrong and what is immoral and correct. At the end, when Biff leaves, he goes for a last visit to Willy and tells him that his life as a failure is the fault of Willy. Willy refuses to accept it and accuses him of "spite" and continues to repeat that he won't accept the blame. ...read more.

Conclusion

LEETA: Don't you want to tell your father - HAPPY: No, that's not my father. He's just a guy. (Miller, pg. 115) He also tells lies about it to his mother when he is questioned by her. He then goes to later lies about it to his mother, Linda, when she rebukes them for deserting him in the restaurant for girls, LINDA (shouting after Biff): You invite him for dinner. He looks forwards for it all day...and then you desert him there. There's no stranger you'd do that to. HAPPY: He had a swell time with us. Listen when I desert him, I hope I don't outlive the day! (Miller, pg. 123) To conclude, Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is filled with victimizations throughout the play whether they are directly or indirectly targeted. Willy victimizes his wife and his two sons but is also victimized by them throughout the play. But the real tragedy of his victimization is that it leads to more harm than he originally caused and he becomes the biggest victim of it also. In turn, the audience is shocked to see that he turns to victimize those closest to him. To some, he may be deserving of victimization, but others may sympathize with him and say justice has not been served. ...read more.

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