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To what extent can the fate of Willy Loman be linked to the social values which surround him?

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To what extent can the fate of Willy Loman be linked to the social values which surround him? Social values can be described as the "norms of the masses", that is to say that they are the ideas generally accepted by everyone. Many contributing factors define the social values in which Willy Loman lived, a major factor was the "American Dream". Willy Loman was a believer in the American Dream, this dream caused him to think that he could do well in life and "become a success". Willy wants his life to be a success but I think he feels he is a failure and he has to lie to impress his family, "I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. 'Willy Loman is here!' That's all they have to know, and I go right through". ...read more.


This mentality is very true for many things in Willy's life such as his house, car and fridge. Also on page 51 Willy tells Linda that she wont have her mending stockings in the house, this is probably because Willy feels that mending old clothes isn't good enough and that his family should be able to purchase new clothes whenever they need to. Willy's pride in his sons defiantly contributes to his fate, the pressure Willy puts on himself to make sure his sons are a success is one of his downfalls. The idea of generational progression is defenatly very important to Willy, if Biff and Happy become successes then they will represent the Lomans well, make good lives for themselves and also through having successful sons Willy may feel his is a success himself. Happy says (in reference to Willy) ...read more.


"Look, kid, im busy this morning" As well as wanting to be successful, Willy wants to be more successful than the people surrounding him, but not his family. He wants to prove to everyone that he is good enough, he knows that they laugh at him and he wants to prove them wrong. Willy tells Howard he is "defiantly going to get one" in relation to a gadget that there is no way Willy could afford but he feels like he has to keep up to date, and keep up with Howard. Willy ends up committing suicide so that his sons can have a better life, they can make a better life for themselves with the money that Willy's death will bring. Many things caused this fate, and in my opinion it is ironic that the American Dream Willy worked so hard towards was a major cause of his unhappiness and suicide. Bernadette de Massimi 12NBB ...read more.

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