Delusions Of Grandeur Essay, Research Paper
Delusions of grandeur and failure to accept reality can be very detrimental to not only an individual, but also to those around him. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman suffers from these delusions. He lives in a parallel world to ours where facing reality never comes into play and spends his entire life in a childlike illusion. Charley, Willy’s friend sums up Willy’s life when he asks him, “When the hell are you going to grow up?” He is idealistic, stubborn, has a false sense of importance in the world and exhibits many childlike qualities that have a negative impact on his family. Like most children, as a youngster Willy had high ideals and hopes. He always believes that he can achieve success. He dreams of being the man who does all of his business out of his house and dying a rich and successful man. He wanted to pattern his life after Dave Singleman’s, the eighty-four-year-old salesman that inspired Willy to go into the sales industry. Unfortunately for Willy, he never grows up enough to achieve his goals.Willy is a very stubborn man that wants everything done his way, even if he’s handed options that are better that his ideas. Charley offered Willy a job in New York that Willy turned down. He chooses to believe that he is at the top of his profession and his stubbornness convinces him that New England needs him as he is vital to his company. Willy needed a job, as he had just been laid off, and yet, he refuses one. He believes that he is at the top of his profession. He acts childish and throws tantrums. His stubbornness rubs off on his son, Biff. He never gives up being a child. Biff can’t handle being ignored, so he steals and lies. Willy’s childlike stubbornness hampers him throughout his life. Like most children, he thinks that he is more important than he actually is.When the going gets tough for Willy, he escapes and avoids it by slipping into his illusions. It isn’t uncommon for one to think of better times at low points in their life to cheer themselves up, but Willy takes it one step further. His refusal to accept reality is so strong that in his mind, he is transported back in time to relive one of the happier days of his life. The times when no one argued, he and his wife Linda were younger, the financial situation was less of a burden and his children eagerly awaited his return. Willy becomes depressed about his inability to make enough money to support his family, his looks, his personality and the success of his friend Charley. Willy believes that he is fat and depresses himself so much that he looks to another woman to have an affair with. The woman’s purpose is to cheer him up. She praises him and raises his spirits by telling him how funny and loveable he is. When he is reassured of his attractiveness and competence, the woman disappears with her purpose fulfilled.
When Willy thinks about his death, he dreams that many people will attend and that it will be a major event. He believes that many people will come to pay their respects to New England’s greatest Salesman. Ironically, few people attended his funeral. When one is a child, they believe that they are more important than they really are. As people grow older, they realize that they are just one of many in the world. Willy never does realize this fact. Biff and Happy never realize it either. They continue to believe that the Loman’s are an extraordinary family above all others. After Willy dies, Happy proclaims that he will continue his father quest as the great salesman. Willy goes through his entire life believing that this is a great, well known, and a well-liked salesman.Willy Loman is a child trapped in a man’s body. He never lets go of his dreams. He does not come to grips with his failure as a salesman, father and husband. Willy runs away from responsibility and he asks others for handouts when he is in need. These traits have a negative impact on his two sons throughout his life. At the end of his life, he lives with delusions of what his life was and is. Willy never does grow up.