Death Of A Salesman Ignorance

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Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, revolves around Willy Loman and his troubled life as a salesman. Willy is a common man with a handful of flaws and complex qualities. Willy Loman’s characteristics are seen clearly through his interactions with the people around him. Evidently, Willy’s interaction with his boss, Howard, displays Willy’s social ignorance. When Willy speaks to Howard to tell him he wishes for a job in the city, Willy misinterprets several social situations. Willy references Howard telling him that he would try to fit him into a job in town, which was said almost a year earlier at a party. This statement was said at an informal event and Howard did not mean for Willy to take it as a definite offer. Also, Willy believes…show more content…
Willy’s lack of sales and eventual loss of his job leaves him with no money. He goes to Charley to borrow money in order to assist with necessary bills. Charley offers Willy a job working with him because, obviously Willy’s job does not pay well enough. Willy denies Charley’s offer several times even though it is what he needs. It is Willy’s sense of pride that prevents him from being able to take Charley’s offer. He believes that a man must be able to provide for his family and accepting the job would mean accepting the fact that he is not able to do so. Interestingly enough, his pride does not allow him to accept a job but, Willy still asks for and accepts a weekly fifty dollars from Charley. Shown through a flashback, Willy notes after speaking with teenage Bernard that he must not be popular. Bernard may receive the best grades, but he is not well liked. This leads Willy to believe that Bernard will not be successful. Willy’s mentality is, “Be liked and you will never want,”(21). He assumes that being popular translates to definite success when in reality, it does not. When speaking to Bernard later in life, Willy sees how successful Bernard becomes. This causes Willy to wonder why Biff, as well liked as he was, did not become successful as well. Willy becomes envious of Charley for having a successful…show more content…
Though he has limited appearance, Ben influences Willy greatly. Willy sees Ben almost as a father figure, he strives to be as successful as Ben but it does not happen. Ben’s advice to Willy is his story. “When I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich,” (33). Willy believes that Ben’s quick rise to wealth will soon hit him and his sons, that “The greatest things will happen.” Willy is blind to the reality that not everyone can strike it rich as Ben did, success will not appear at the doorstep one morning. Towards the climax of the play, Willy shares his plan of killing himself in order to provide his family with his life insurance money with the imagined Ben. Ben reminds Willy that his family will probably not receive the payment due to his death being suicide. Certainly, Willy knows that the money will not be paid because Ben’s response came from his mind as Ben is part of his imagination. Nevertheless, Willy does not believe it, revealing that he is in denial, blocking out true information to please himself. However, Willy’s denial reveals that he is also caring. He chooses to believe that the insurance money will be paid out because he wants to provide for his family as he loves

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