Willy Loman Analytical Essay

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The world today is a world of imperfection. Everyone is expected to be perfect - have the best grades when we’re in school, be the best at our jobs, form the best relationships. Often, it seems like every time we make an improvement in our careers or our personal life, another problem comes up or we fall backwards. A lot has changed since Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman was published in 1949, but the central conflict of the play - the inadequacy we all face never goes away and has been something we’ve all dealt with since the beginning of time, and the quest for perfection has very much replaced religion as the motivating force in society. In Act I, Linda says of Willy, “I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is…show more content…
Peter L. Hays describes Willy and Biff’s relationship as having “a lack of coherence” and says that Willy alternates between praising and criticizing Biff in his 2015 book Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Hays reaches the conclusion that Willy’s constant switching between criticizing and praising Biff indicates that he wishes things were the way he has built them up to be in his memory: the days when Biff and Happy looked up to him. In Act II, Biff says to Willy, “I’m not bringing home any prizes anymore, and you’re going to stop waiting for me to bring them home!” Biff doesn’t want Willy to continue to try to rely on the American dream and wait for perfection, he wants Willy to face the truth. Despite having a low paying job, Biff is trying to build a good life for himself and his family. To protect his family, he kept it from them that he spent three months in jail. Biff wants to form a life for himself that he can be happy with, but he lives in a society with expectations, where nothing can ever truly be

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