Willy and Nora: Awful Heroes or Home-wreckers? Nobody has an ideal life. In Spite Of what Aaron Spelling and his friends in the media may predict to society today, nobody’s life is perfect. Everyone has disputes that they must deal with sooner or later. The ways in which people handle these disputes can be just as varied as the people themselves. Some procrastinate and disregard their problems as long as they can, while others attack problems to get them out of the method as quickly as possible.
The Lowman and Helmer households have a variety of issues that they handle in different methods, which shows their similarities and differences. Both Willy Loman, the lead character of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Nora Helmer, protagonist of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House experience an epiphany where they understand that they were not the individual the idea they were: while Willy’s catharsis causes his death, Nora’s brings her to a new life; hers. Both character’s flaws bring about their departure from their particular families as well. They are both excessively concerned with the looks they and their families present to society: as a result they both project incorrect images to others.
From their look, both appear to be involved in steady marital relationships and seem going locations. Willy’s job as a taking a trip salesperson seems stable (although we never know what it is he sells) when he tells his family that he “knocked ’em cold in Providence, slaughtered ’em in Boston” (Miller 1228). It is not up until Willy’s better half, Linda informs us that he “drives 700 miles and when he gets there, no one knows him anymore, no one invites him” (Miller 1241). If that’s insufficient to encourage readers of his failure on the task, the fact that he gets fired after working for the very same business for 36 years cements his incompetency in business world to readers. While Nora does not work in business world, (couple of female, if any did over 120 years ago) her failure to look after her responsibilities ends up being quite obvious too.
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When the play opens and Nora gets in with a Christmas tree and presents for the children, she gives off the impression of an excellent mother striving to prepare a fantastic Christmas for her family. Upon more analysis we see that Nora’s tasks, in general, are restricted to taking care of the kids, doing household chores, and dealing with her needlepoint. Nora can not finish these duties even with the full-time aid of Anne Marie, a house cleaner who cleans up after Nora just as much as the kids. When Nora and Kristine are having a conversation towards the start of the play, Nora notifies her buddy that, “I’m so happy and relieved [with my marital relationship] I should state its lovely to have a lot of cash and not have to stress. Isn’t it?” (Ibsen 1119). The rosy picture she painted of her family and marital relationship remain in stark contrast to the “stranger of a male” (Ibsen 1168) she refers to her partner as. We recognize that she had actually not been living her life at all; rather the life that her other half wanted her to live. While both Willy and Nora succeed in providing of the look of being qualified, efficient and useful relative who add to the well being of their respective households, they prove otherwise as the plays progress.
While the 2 plays occur almost 100 years apart, are set on different continents and each have completely different family members, both engage in lies and deceit that hurt their households; after which each protagonist leaves their family. Not only does Willy lie about his performance on the job, he lies about his “malfunctioning cars and truck” also. He tells his family that the Studebaker keeps malfunctioning when in truth we find out through Linda that he has been deliberately attempting to kill himself. The most significant way in which Loman deceives his household is by cheating on his spouse while away for operate in Boston. When his oldest child discovers his father’s unfaithfulness, he loses all trust for his daddy, and Biff’s life practically goes downhill from there. Willy Loman’s lies, deceit, unfaithfulness have actually led to huge problems for his family. Nora also begins problem in her household through lies and deceit. Nora’s crime of forgery is not even a crime in her mind; she does not recognize that the law does not take into consideration people’s inspirations behind their actions. While she knows that Krogstad has actually been related to dubious law practices, she does not understand that his criminal offense was on the same level, if not less unlawful than the one that she has committed.
When Tourvald opens the letter and finds out about her criminal activity, he goes ballistic, and can not think that his own partner could be efficient in such a crime. This is eventually the factor/ situation that assists Nora realize that she must leave her family in order to begin to live her own life. But Nora even lies about the little things in life such as the eating of macaroons (Ibsen 1126). Her partner prohibited her from eating them on account that they will rot her teeth, and when she is seen consuming them in her home, she says that they are a present from Kristine, which is a lie. Both Willy and Nora’s lies and deceitfulness annoy their families to the point where each lead character much leave their family; although Willy’s departure is his death, Nora’s is the start of her real life. Both primary characters also use an escape mechanism to leave truth when they understand that their lives are on the incorrect course. When Loman begins to realize that his pride and delight in life, Biff, “is a lazy bum” (Miller 1218) he begins to talk to himself (Miller 1221). These psychological lapses bring Loman to a happier location and time, when his kids were young and innocent and he believed that the best part of his life lay still ahead. This acts almost as a defense mechanism versus the pains of truth for Willy.
In the final scene, after Biff informs his daddy that he is “a penny a lots” which the Loman name actually doesn’t imply much, Willy takes part in the supreme escape mechanism; suicide. Although it might appear on the surface area to be a selfish and coldhearted transfer to spite his family, he really did it so that his household might live a better life with money he thinks they will get from his life insurance coverage policy. When faced with the extreme pains of truth, Nora also utilizes defense/ escape mechanisms to disregard the problems at hand initially, then to dominate them in the end. She believes that she has actually not done anything wrong, which if what she has done is prohibited, that her good intentions will nullify the illegality of her forgery. When Krogstad informs her otherwise, informs her the possible repercussions of her act, and eventually gives her an ultimatum, this is her very first touch of reality beyond the doll’s house that she lives in. To deal with the cruelty outside of this doll’s house, she right away retreats back inside and tries to distract herself with Christmas decors (Ibsen 1133).
She uses the tree and presents to sidetrack her from her problems, and tells the nursemaid Anne Marie that she’s too hectic to play with her kids who wish to see her due to the fact that she needs to attempt to distance her mind from the topic at hand. Here she is just making the issue even worse by not handling it. When she lastly realizes that her “main responsibility [is] to [her] self” (Ibsen 1166), and that she has been living life according to what her daddy and hubby have wanted instead of what she has actually desired, Nora’s surprise is complete. She understands that the only possible option that can work for her is to leave right away. Willy and Nora both escape their issues first by wandering away with psychological interruptions, then when they fully recognize their problems, they both need to physically leave their families.
For Willy this suggests death, for Nora, the start of (a new) life. Willy and Nora share a deadly flaw: they try to make others delighted prior to making themselves pleased. All that Willy ever wanted in life was to be “well-liked” and for his sons to follow in his steps. Their lives focused too much on satisfying others rather than themselves, and in the end this defect caused their departure from each of their respective households. When Charley asks Willie “when the hell are you ever going to grow up?” and Biff states that “we never ever told the truth in this house for 10 minutes” (Miller 1280) we recognize that Willy will never ever grow up which he should leave his household since he will never ever mature and that almost his entire life has been a farce. Likewise, when Nora tells her husband that the only way he (and her) can only alter if Tourvald has “his doll removed” (Ibsen 1168) we recognize that Nora’s life too has actually been a farce which she need to leave in order to start her own life.