Willy Loman Analysis

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It is challenging to accept reality for numerous individuals because delusions are more gratifying and reassuring in comparison to reality. This reassurance is seen in several plays in particular Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Both plays portray a character that finds comfort in his or her delusions instead of accepting reality. Arthur Miller introduces the protagonist Willy Loman, a precarious, self-deluded salesman who conjures up his dead brother, Ben, to provide him with advice. Tony Kushner introduces Harper Pitt, a Valium addict who produces hallucinations and an imaginary character, Mr. Lies, to escape her current life problems. The significance of these ghost-like/fantastic characters is…show more content…
Death of a Salesman stars Willy Loman, an imaginative older gent, who is slowly coming undone. Loman is a struggling salesman who does not make enough sales to support his family. He has lived his entire life chasing the "American Dream" however, through all his efforts he ends up becoming unsuccessful towards the end. The audience is introduced to Ben, Willy Loman's brother who died years back. In some scenes Willy is talks to Ben as if he is right there. During one scene in particular Willy Loman says from: "Can't you stay a few days?" to "...kind of temporary about myself" (Miller, 1.33), Willy was talking to Ben Loman. Ben has been traveling to Africa on a business trip and Willy was having feelings of abandonment. Willy mentions earlier how he never knew his father because his father abandoned him when he was a young child and is unable to retain many memories of him. However, what Willy does not understand is that Ben is not real, but a figment of his imagination, Ben only appears in Willy's mind when he is distressed or lonely. Ben provides as a means of a scapegoat to help reassure Willy that there is hope in his future and that he will do good as…show more content…
The question being, is why do these characters flee away from their problems instead of addressing them? For Harper Pitt, she takes Valium and goes through her many drug-induced perceptions of reality. Harper chooses to avoid reality and escape from the real world because the euphoric state produced by Valium appeals to her more in comparison to the real situation. Mr. Lies provides Harper with advice, and an escape from her problems. Mr. Lies always suggests various traveling destinations to get her away from her husband. Harper journeys with Mr. Lies to Antarctica, which was actually a drug-induced hallucination where she imagined she was in Antarctica. She fled with Mr. Lies because she had just gotten into a bad fight with her husband Joe, who admitted he was not in love with her. The news of Joe being gay leaves her very distressed and she is unable to comprehend that a religious man like Joe could actually be a homosexual when they were Mormon. In Mormon belief homosexuals do not exist. Although Mr. Lies is but a figment of Harper’s imagination, he provides sane advice to her. When she goes with Mr. Lies to Antarctica, it is both a moving moment and a fearful scene. Harper, who has agoraphobia, fear of public places, manages to flee from her apartment and ends up at the park, although many individuals may see Harper as a weak character for running away from her problems she is

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