Death of a Salesman: Miller Paints an Ideal Image as Our Primary Character Willy Lowman Rapidly Fails

Death of a Salesperson

Steve FlatleyFlatley 1 Mr. Nevels English 102 June 17, 2010 The Battle Within There is a complete descent into insanity apparent in Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” The struggle Willy Lowman has actually pertained to sustain throughout a life of lies and incorrect hope is portrayed effectively by Miller’s usage of dialogue, stage remarks, prologue, and time and maybe best shown by the usage of dialogue and character interaction.

By putting all of these elements to excellent usage Miller paints an ideal image as our primary character Willy Lowman rapidly fails to see the distinction in between the fantasy he has created and the truth that has actually come about by a lifetime of deceit. Miller’s use of beginning appears from the very start of the play. “Prior to us is the salesperson’s home. We know towering, angular shapes behind it, surrounding it on all sides. Only the blue light of the sky falls upon the house and forestage; the surrounding location shows a mad radiance of orange. (DiYanni 1212-1213) The opening lines discuss to us exactly what we need to be seeing down to the last information. There is now a brilliant photo of what we, as readers, are seeing regardless if we are seeing a live efficiency or simply reading the play itself. Flatley 2 Though the use of prologue is incredibly important in any play, however, it would not be solidified without exceptional usage of stage comments before the characters’ individual lines. When stage comments are utilized well it is easier to understand what is happening and how the characters are speaking to each other.

For instance Willy: (worried and irate): There’s such an undercurrent in him. He became a moody guy. Did he ask forgiveness when I left this morning? (DiYanni 1215) Simply by informing us Willy’s feelings prior to he spoke we know how he spoke to Linda (his better half) and what tone he is taking with her. We can likewise derive Willy’s frame of mind from these few basic words prior to he speaks. When discussion and character interaction are utilized we begin to see the fast descent into insanity that our main character is experiencing. “Biff is a lazy bum! (DiYanni 1215) Willy is having an argument with his better half about his earliest son Biff. Nevertheless just a few lines later Willy opposes himself by saying “Biff Lowman is lost. In the greatest country on the planet a boy with such individual beauty, gets lost. And such a hard worker. There’s one thing about Biff-he’s not lazy.” (DiYanni 1215) Willy is gradually losing his grip on the distinction between the fantasy world he has actually produced and the severe reality that is prior to him. As the play unfolds, character interaction handles an even bigger function in showing what is going on in between Willy and Biff.

We know there is some underlying problem but can never figure out what it is. When Miller employs the use of time throughout the play we begin to comprehend increasingly more the battle going on inside Willy’s mind and why there is resentment for his eldest kid. Flatley 3 Much of the play occurs in a mental construct which Willy produces. An Eden-like paradise which lies at the center of his neurosis, it is identified by the paradoxical union of truth and his delusory satisfaction of his grandiose dreams of omnipotence. Ardolino, Frank. “‘I’m Not a Dime a Lots! I am Willy Lowman! ‘: The Significance of Names and Numbers in Death of a Salesperson.” Journal of Evolutionary Psychology (Aug. 2002): 174-184. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 179. Detroit: Wind, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 June 2010.) It is clear that Willy lives in the past to escape the present. That he is a broken down, old male that no one respects. His own employer won’t even provide him a job at the central office there in New york city after a life time on the road.

Yet Willy still thinks that after having one fantastic year on the roadway he deserves the very best. Whenever he thinks things aren’t going the way the method they should, he escapes into his dream world where everything is perfect while he is on the roadway where he can be anyone he wants to be. That is, obviously, until Biff pays him a surprise go to in Boston and captures him messing around with another woman behind his mother’s back. Much of the play occurs in a mental construct which Willy develops.

An Eden-like paradise which lies at the center of his neurosis, it is defined by the paradoxical union of reality and his delusory satisfaction of his grand dreams of omnipotence. Willy’s paradise, which he relates to the time in which Biff and Pleased were growing up in Brooklyn, was likewise associated with his and his sons’ special society in which they expressed, reflected, and validated his belief in their virtual divinity. (Ardolino, Frank. “‘I’m Not a Penny a Dozen! I am Willy Lowman!: The Significance of Names and Numbers in Death of a Salesperson.” Journal of Flatley 4 Evolutionary Psychology (Aug. 2002): 174-184. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 179. Detroit: Wind, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 June 2010.) There are numerous circumstances of Willy’s escape into his “ideal world” evident throughout the play. Miller uses timing to depict this beautifully as Willy gradually descends into madness and can not escape the fact that a lifetime of lies is rapidly catching up to him.

Bettina takes a look at the function of the character of Ben in Death of a Salesman, arguing that Ben is an extension of Willy’s own consciousness, and that “through [Ben] Miller offers the audience a significant quantity of the awful insight which, though never rather reaching Willy, manifests itself to them in the dramatic presentation the functions of his mind.” (Sibling, M. Bettina. “Willy Lowman’s Bro Ben: Awful Insight in Death of a Salesperson.” Modern Drama 4. 4 (Feb. 1962): 409-412. Rpt. in Drama for Students. Ed. David M. Galens and Lynn M. Spampinato. Vol. 1. Detroit: Wind, 1998. Literature Resource Center.

Web. 17 June 2010.) The ever present character of his bro Ben who is nothing more than a ghost keeps appearing and saying the very same words over and over once again up until the last scene of the film when he finally encourages Willy to devote suicide. This is just after Biff finally breaks down and admits to his dad that he is absolutely nothing and never will be anything without some aid which he will leave in the morning after they have all had some rest. Willy Lowman has had trials and tribulations throughout his life as seen during the course of this play. He has just had one successful sales year that keeps avoiding to.

He can not appear to snap out of this one year and will never let his pride and stubbornness which eventually results in his terrible death. The popular quote that always calls throughout the play “Ben how did you do it?” Seems to be Willy’s mantra as he attempts relentlessly to find the answer to the American Imagine completion all be all of the next big offer that will solve all of his and his families’ problems. However he never ever does. He finally pertains to the conclusion after the psychological scene between himself and his lost kid Biff that he need to dedicate suicide in order for Biff to become what he never ever could.

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